Recently, a very dear friend of mine departed. We survived blizzards, navigated treacherous territories, sang opera, and shed many tears together, but after five years in my possession, he began to give out on me.
Who was this beloved friend, you ask? Why he was none other than my ’97 Chevy Lumina. As a three generation vehicle, he served me and my family well, but after the last diagnosis, it was time for us to part. While driving an old car was terrifying and frustrating at times, it did teach me some important lessons. Here are some of the best:
1. Cars have many parts! While I may not be able to fix them myself, I now know what a spark plug looks like, how a battery is changed, and what it feels like when the EGR valve, CAM sensor, and Crank Sensor go bad. I can add oil, jump start a vehicle, and (theoretically) change a tire. The mysterious world of car engines is still mysterious, but I know much more than I did before.
2. I need help. Whether is is calling my father when the car wouldn’t start, discovering which of my friends are related to a mechanic who might take pity on me, or finding guys at work who will help me change a tire, an old car helped me make friends (or enemies, depending on how you look at it).
3. I am not in control. From missing class because my car is stalled to begging God for each extra mile as the car is spluttering and muttering at 70 mph when I am in the middle of nowhere, an old car taught me how little control I have over everything.
Theophilus and I have sadly parted ways. He’s gone to one of those friends who put hours into resurrecting him every time he died. While I will miss my first set of wheels, I’m looking forward to a (hopefully) safer vehicle for this next stage of my life. However, I will always be thankful for the lessons my first car taught me.