Saying goodbye to Toby the car

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 24, 2015

Over the weekend, my tiny, bright red 2006 Chevrolet Aveo nearly left me stranded on the highway. As I prayed my way to the dealership’s repair shop, I knew my car would manage to get me there safely but I also knew the diagnosis wouldn’t be good once I arrived. After all, the car was nearly 10-years-old with almost 100,000 miles under its belt. Just as I imagined, the cost to repair the vehicle was too much, so I decided at that time to give up my car for a new one.
While cars are just pieces of machinery, my car was more than that to me. It was my first mode of transportation; my rite-of-passage into adulthood. Five years ago, my father and I visited the dealership so I could pick out my first car, which was my high school graduation present. When I first saw it, which I later baptized as ‘Toby,’ I knew it was the one for me.
Since then, we’ve been through everything together; four years of college in Florida, two internships, three jobs and everything in-between. When I first moved to Mississippi almost a year ago, it was the only familiar thing that reminded me of my life back in Florida, which is why a flood of emotions came rushing over me when it was time to turn in the keys and assume ownership of a vehicle that was a stranger to me.
When the moment came to say goodbye to Toby, I felt as though my life was flashing before my eyes, at least the last five years. That car was a wonderfully reliable friend.
It never failed me; except for that one time I was stranded roadside with two flat tires years ago. Besides that, it was always there for me whenever I needed it.
While it may seem crazy that I refer to my car as if it were a person, sometimes it seemed as though it was.
No future car of mine will be able to replace Toby, no matter how many fancy features it has. There’s just nothing like the first car.

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