Bidding farewell to long-held possessions can be somewhat traumatic. Some items may have been owned for years, decades, maybe even a lifetime. How many of us have - stuffed in a drawer or box in the basement, attic or garage - a favorite toy, stuffed animal, or other childhood treasure? Most things, however, disappear during our journey through life. Items get lost, they break and cannot be repaired or cost too much to fix or replacement parts are unavailable. Some we give away. We might donate items to charity, send them off to a consignment shop in the hopes someone else will want and actually pay for our discarded stuff, and sometimes we gift a treasured possession to a friend or relative.
Over ten years ago, when my Dad could no longer drive, his car was passed down to a family member. Skipping a generation, my son Jason became the proud owner of Dad’s 1998 Toyota Corolla.
The car, which registered 35,000 miles when Jason took possession, went to college with my son, accompanied him to job interviews, stayed with him as he entered the work world, drove him home for occasional visits, carried his gear to bike races and marathons, and transported his daughters to preschool and play dates.
Now 20 years old with an odometer reading of 165,000 miles, the car shows its age. Frequent visits to the car repair shop, weird sounds when it runs - coughing, hissing - like a very old person, it is ready for the next chapter in life.
So this afternoon Jason drove his beloved Toyota to the Good News Garage and donated the vehicle to charity. He is unsure what will happen to it. The car still runs so it may go to an individual in need of transportation to school or work. Or it may be mined for parts and metal. Or…we have no idea.
It was a sad, somber scene, saying goodbye to a possession used and cared for, for so many years, linking generations.
Cars have become connections to events in our lives…the car I drove - or tried to drive - for my first driving test. I got behind the wheel and the car refused to start. It was towed to the nearest repair shop…the first van hub and I bought one Christmas Eve…the red Saturn I drove off the lot, not a sports car but close…the car (NOT my Saturn, but a Ford Escort) handed down to our son (NOT Jason) when he learned to drive, affectionately known as the POS (piece of s**t)…There are other stories, life through vehicles owned, used, experienced.
I end this tale of woe with a picture of the Toyota, 1998-2019.