A dear friend 2000—2015

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 16, 2015

I had to say goodbye to a very dear friend last week.

It was an inevitability. I had been in denial about for at least a year. Although I knew it was coming, I couldn’t help feeling unprepared.

You see, my friend was getting on in years and was having some problems. Physically, the transformation he had made in recent years was hard to overlook.

Cosmetic appearance aside, he just didn’t have as much get-up-and-go as he once had. Winter months were especially hard. Getting around in freezing temperatures was a struggle each day. I prepared to say goodbye then.

But the spring was hopeful. My friend seemed to be getting better, once warmer weather settled in. A little care and general maintenance was all he seemed to want.

Then, last week, as I was on my way to work, my friend took a turn for the worse.

I rushed him to have someone take a look.

At that point, it was out of my hands. I went on to work and waited for hours to hear a diagnosis.

When I did receive the call, the news wasn’t what I hoped for; wasn’t what I was prepared for.

It was time to say goodbye.

After 13 years and 235,000 plus miles, my dear Honda Accord had driven his last road. At least with me behind the wheel.

The good folks at Dickess Auto Repair had keep the car in good running order for the past few years, but this new issue, something with the oil pump, was a telltale sign that it was time to move on. I could no longer afford to put hundreds of dollars into a vehicle that might break down in another capacity at any time.

I knew it all along, of course, but I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I thought I had more time. I thought, when the time comes, he’ll take me to a dealership, our last ride. I’ll trade him in and he’ll go off to whatever pastures those old cars go to. We’d have a proper goodbye, something dignified.

Instead, I was left thinking, could I have done more for him? One more oil change or tune up? Fewer day trips?

I had to take my car-shopping trip without him. I resigned myself to the fact that I would never get behind that wheel again.

We’d been everywhere together, my Honda and me. We first met in 2002. I had just started college. The Honda had another owner before me; he’s a 2000 model.

We made sure I got everywhere I needed to go — school and work — and everywhere I wanted to go, from a local concert venue or to the coast and back.

He aided my designated driving efforts and was, at times, soiled, so to speak.

He helped move my belongings and me several times, including here to the Tri-State.

He’s been vandalized a time or two, gone through a scary hydroplaning incident and been rear-ended once.

Except for the past year or two, the Honda never gave me any troubles and was reliable and trusty as they come.

Over the past year I had given some thought to buying a new car, often commenting on how tired I was of the Honda and was ready to get rid of him.

I guess I was wrong. The first car I ever bought and paid off from paychecks earned while working as a barista certainly became like a companion to me. So much so that despite my new wheels, I find myself missing him still.

I’m sure in time that will fade as my new car and I become more acquainted.

Farewell, old friend. I will cherish our time together.

The Honda is preceded in death by a 1994 Oldsmobile Silhouette and is survived by a 2014 Ford Fiesta.

 

Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at michelle.goodman@irontontribune.com.