Losing an Automobile: The First Car is the Deepest


I am in mourning– the passing of a loved one is never easy. I lost my first car six months ago. She was a beauty. A 1996 Buick Skylark Custom, greenish-blue and magnificent. Words cannot adequately express how much I miss that car. Two months after I left for my first year of college, my dad was in a horrible car accident, that left him in critical condition, and left the car…well, I’d rather not say. Thankfully, my father has recovered, and I’m more grateful for that than anyone can imagine. It is a wonderful thing, to be afforded the luxury of mourning a car instead of a family member.

Indeed, the Buick was responsible for saving my dad’s life. If he had been driving his other car, a very old Ford Tempo, there’s no telling what would have happened, but it probably would have been even more awful; the Tempo didn’t have airbags, the Buick did.

So, as I sit here in my college dorm, safe from any rogue drivers, I allow myself to miss that Skylark. And that gets me to thinking about all the other cars that have been significant in my life. In fact, I could draw a time line from car to car, of the most key things (pun intended) that have happened in my brief but important stay on earth so far. For example:

When I was very small, both of my parents drove Volvos. They were always old, and very rusty, but my parents both had a strange affinity for them. And when my parents divorced, my dad got a yellow Volvo station wagon. It was hideous, and I always knew who it was coming up the driveway. We called it the banana wagon. And my step-dad drove an Explorer. It was white and perfect looking. And my very first crush, well, he rode the school bus, but my first crush who could drive drove a maroon Bonneville, and my first boyfriend (who I dated for two entire weeks) had a white Mercury Sable, who witnessed my first kiss. The person I thought was my first love drove an old BMW, who witnessed a few more kisses. And then I got my first car-the Buick. And when that happened, I moved out of my mom’s house and into my dad’s. The person who turned out to be my actual first love drove an old black Audi, and then a maroon Achieva, and finally a silver Honda Civic. And now my both of my parents drive Honda Accords. I guess everyone finally came to their senses, and started buying cars that were good on gas.

The thing is, I didn’t have to think too hard about who drove what, and in what order it happened. It’s surprising how much I remember just because of the automobile involved. Everyone take a second now to remember your first car. Wasn’t that the best? And now try to think of other significant moments that involved automobiles. Easier than you’d think, isn’t it?

It’s hard, losing the most important car that comes up in your time line of autos. I know in time I’ll have a new car, and I’ll love that just as much, but for now I remain car-less, and deeply missing the noble Buick Skylark Custom, who was and always will be, my very first.