Essay: Selling the Car

Oct 19, 2018

“It’s been very dependable,” my husband said of his Toyota truck. He was trading it in for another vehicle and had plenty of good reasons for this decision, logical reasons. But as he cleaned it out, we started remembering all the good times we’d had in that truck—camping trips, canoe trips. And we felt sad.


I had an old Ford Escort many years ago and when my daughter became gravely ill, I drove that car to Grand Rapids every week for her treatments. It was the middle of winter, terrible driving, but the Escort never let me down. Never slid off the road or refused to start on the coldest mornings.

When it came time to trade it in, I decided to sell it myself and put an ad in the paper. The young man who came to buy it stood in my front hall and counted out fifteen one-hundred dollar bills. He smelled of cigarette smoke and said he worked in a local factory, had young kids.

My Escort was going to a different home and I felt sad. As if I was being disloyal to this little car that had kept me safe during the worst crisis of my life. It wasn’t flashy or anything special, but as I handed that young man the keys, I was in tears.

“It’s been very dependable,” I said.