I tempted fate a few weeks ago. After five trips to Sacramento (1,500 miles) and three trips to the mechanic’s shop (dead starter, coolant leak and funky alternator) before and after my father died from lung cancer, I took a final ride in my car to pick up my father’s ashes from the Willow Glen post office. Not surprisingly, my father’s old car made it to the post office and died. Since I choose not to replace the alternator for $700 USD, and the alternator stopped charging the battery, my car finally kicked the hubcap.
Until my father abandoned his old car in my carport in 2007 as a birthday present, I never needed a driver’s license. I took public transit everywhere since I was teenager. Alas, an abandoned car in my carport was a serious lease violation at my apartment complex. (Then and now, the leasing office didn’t care as long the rent was paid.) With the help of an friend from church, we spent 15 minutes each Sunday morning to drive around the neighborhood. I got my driver’s license two months later after two hours of driving time. I was 38-years-old at the time.
Like my father, his old car was a proverbial pain in the ass. Took me four years to find and fix all the things that he neglected to tell me about. Always having at least one major repair job each year that he reluctantly paid for since I kept insisting that he had given me a lemon for my birthday. The final straw came earlier this year. I was driving down the I-5 towards Sacramento when the tire blew out and ripped out the wiring harness. That should have been the kiss of death, but my father re-wired the wiring harness as I drove around in his truck for a week. As my father got sicker with lung cancer, the car started breaking down faster than I could repair it.
Death became inevitable for both of them.
I called AAA and the car was towed home to sit in my carport ass backwards. Another tow truck came out this past weekend to take it away and the driver gave me a check for $265 USD from Pick-N-Pull. A melancholy moment. My poor old car looked sad being towed away with two magnetic red lights on the trunk. I almost cried as much for that old car than I did for my father passing away. Meanwhile I’m getting a ride from a friend in the morning and taking public transit home in the afternoon for work. Within a few weeks, I’m hoping to get another used car in the near future. One with fewer problems.