When no one else hears your rattle

Have you heard my rattle?

The one that’s driving me crazy?

It’s happening in my new car.

Well, not that new. The car’s about a year-and-a-half old. Old enough to start with quirks.

Too new, if you ask me, to already have a rattle.

When I take the car out on the highway and get it up to speed, it sounds like the right front passenger window starts to rattle.

Only it doesn’t.

See, it’s not the window, we’ve checked that, but it comes from that general area.

The knocka-thumpa-knocka-thumpa sound really bugs me.

Even worse, it drives my noise-sensitive husband through the sunroof.

So off I went this week to the dealership. I waited and waited like the hostage you become in a dealership waiting room.

A guy finally comes in, apologetic, yet with that “Grey’s Anatomy we’ve done all we can do” looks on his face.

“I can’t hear your rattle,” he says.

“Let’s take a drive,” I suggest, ready to rattle his world.

We drive up and down the highway at all sorts of speeds. I’ll be darned if I suddenly can’t hear the rattle either.

It was as if the Maytag Man came to life in my car.

Just like the classic TV commercial, the car rattled until he shows up.

Talk about frustrating.

“Oh well,” the dealership guy says as he gives me that “It’s time for you to go home now, Crazy Lady” look.

“What’s the big deal?” I ask myself as I drive off. “How lucky are you that this is your biggest problem today?”

Only, suddenly, I picture the two-hour road trip we will be taking this weekend to see my in-laws, the rattle starting in, Husband going on edge and I know this will be a bigger problem within a few days.

As I continue to stress about the mystery rattle, it strikes me, Dear Reader, you just might have a rattle, as well.

Maybe not in your kinda newish car. Rather, that thing that is the thorn in your side, that others can’t see or detect that you’re told to get over.

The heartbreak you should be past already.

The chronic pain that doesn’t go away from a long ago injury.

The brain injury that doesn’t show on the outside, but completely rewired you and your life forever.

The cancer you survived, but leaves you feeling unsettled.

Your rattle.

Like the guy at the car dealership, I can’t fix your rattle.

But I offer you today, this tiny gift — I’m validating your rattle.

I hear it. I see it. I feel it.

I believe it’s there.

I hope this moment of understanding and acknowledgement gives you some comfort.

For just a moment, you’re not that crazy person.

Speaking of comfort — I hate to ask — any chance you have a car I can borrow Saturday to go see my in-laws?

One without a rattle, of course.

For the sake of my sanity and my marriage, I would be ever so appreciative.