carMy daughter recently texted me the words “Filled up my car for the last time. Cried.”

When she entered high school, her dad and I told her we’d match whatever amount she saved toward her first car. She served up Dippin’ Dots, snapped photos of crying babies at Sears and checked out groceries at Central Market until she had enough money–with our match–to buy this cute Civic. She’s kept it and loved it through two serious relationships and, while the guys let her down, the car never did. When she was in college, working as an ER scribe and working shifts that took her out on nights so cold, the doors froze shut, but the car still carried her through. Her high school boyfriend encouraged her to pimp it out and the car was broken into three different times–for the crazy good sound system–but it could still be put right. It ran and ran. Yes, at 140,000 miles, it uses a little oil now. But she loves it and hates that it’s time to sell.

She’s headed off to do her medical residency in an ER in Brooklyn. She doesn’t need a car there. The parking and insurance rates wouldn’t be worth it, since the D train runs close to her apartment But she mourns the independence of having her little car.

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