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••• The International Writers Magazine - 24 Years on-line - Lifestyles

Letting Go of Momma Honda
• Mary-Martha Beard
The Pilot of my life might be dying ...


I am not a car girl. I don’t want to hear someone talk about their car like a baby. I find no interest in an auto’s various parts, types, shapes, colors, speeds—nothing. I’d go as far as to say I also find car people obnoxious, specifically those whose phone lock screens are their souped-up Ford F250 trucks covered in mud or their freshly waxed Aston Martin, backlit by the sun setting on the ocean. I hate when they drive their loud cars down my road, disrupting my serenity and making my dog bark.

Despite my dislike for car people, I love—love—Momma Honda. She (that’s right, she’s got pronouns, thank you very much) is my 2007 burgundy Honda Pilot. She was my mom’s car, then my sister’s, and for the past eight-ish years she’s been mine. Momma Honda’s acquired nearly one hundred and ninety thousand miles to her name, and we have experienced nearly a hundred thousand of those together. She’s been my constant companion, there when I needed something familiar.

“Momma Honda has finally started leaking,” my dad said after taking her to get an oil change. My stomach dropped to the floor.

 I’d noticed a few lights on the dash coming up every now and again, but they always turned back off. I, naively, figured she was fine. I didn’t know the ins and outs of what makes a car run, but I understood what Dad’s declaration meant. She doesn’t have long to go before she can’t go anymore.

I’ve laughed, cried, screamed, slept (not while driving, of course) on her tan leather seats, which are now gracefully worn with age.

She’s been flooded two times through her sunroof, but she pulled through those incidents. Before going to college in Charleston, S.C., I removed some of her console and upgraded her to a touch-screen Bluetooth system, which was painful for her, but she’s all the more stylish.

Momma Honda’s carried Christmas trees, luggage, and a six-foot-two, two hundred fifty pound friend of mine on her rooftop from one side of our high school to the other.

We got into one fender bender with a Vietnam veteran. We (Momma Honda and I) swear that he came out of nowhere. Either way, it was only a slight brushing of cars. The veteran said, “I’m all good if you are,” to which I happily nodded, thankful that he was okay…and that I didn’t have to tell my parents. The scuff his silver car left on Momma Honda’s sparkling burgundy rubbed right off, and we were on our way.

We got pulled over once. I had to turn Momma Honda off so she wouldn’t have to witness the grumpy police officer asking, “Do you know how fast you were going?” and “What was so important you needed to go nearly twenty miles over the posted speed limit?” For his information, I was having an argument with my mom, but I just accepted the ticket and cried while Momma Honda took me home.

When I graduated high school, we rode alone to the ceremony. I needed the quiet to try and contain myself before closing one door and opening another.

When I battled with depression my freshman year of college, I spent hours with Momma Honda, driving everywhere and nowhere, listening to music, letting the breeze blow away my sorrows as we drove over Charleston bridges.

When I drove to an interview for my first “big girl” job, it was with Momma Honda. My nerves lessened a bit when I could focus on break, gas, break, turn signal, park.

And now Momma Honda is dying.

My family reacted with “Wow, took that old thing long enough” and “Don’t speed it up and get into any wrecks. We need to have it get you through college.”

Later that night, I wondered why I cared so much. It’s just a car, right? Most would be excited to get a new one.

But not me. Consistency. Stability. Familiarity. That’s what Momma Honda gave me for all those years. And in the next few months, she might not be there to give me that anymore. I’ll have a new car. I’ll have a new life.

Nowadays, I find myself having more reasons to go on a drive. I’m going to have to let go of the comfort of my youth, so I’m soaking up the little bits I’ve got left.

© Martha-Mary Beard - March 2023- a senior, majoring in English and concentrating in writing, rhetoric, and publication.

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