My mom announced that after nearly 19 years of faithful service, she is selling her 1994 NA Miata. And buying a VW Rialta. She and my father will tour the country and visit grandchildren and all that jazz and live the all-American retirement dream. She’ incredibly excited for future her new toy, and thrilled to soon be fully retired.

I was in elementary school when my mom got that Miata. And oh man she loved it. She bought everything for it. Brand new interior with red “leather,” expensive ass radio, new wheels, aftermarket tail lights, replaced most of the dash with red inserts, short shifter, vanity plate, and other things I’ve forgotten. When I had to run errands with her, she’d blast the radio, smack the steering wheel like a bongo, and sing so loud at stop lights I would try to slide into my seat so now one can see me. Of course it’s a miata, so there’s no room to slide. I eventually utilized the hat-hoodie combo.

When she told me, I was legitimately shocked. Even though life is nothing but a series of changes, somehow this was one I just thought would always be. Mom. Miata. Red. 5-speed. Jon Secada on repeat. 

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Vehicles are too closely linked with the passage of time. It was only a year ago my parents traded in their ‘01 MDX, a car they bought when I was still in middle school. I remember when I was 11, I watched my dad tear up when they hauled away the Audi 4000 coupe to the yard. It was just a machine, I thought. Oh how wrong I was.

I’m going to miss seeing that little red spec when I visit them.