On June 5, 2017, my 2013 Ford Focus was hit from the side by a Toyota Venza in a collision that resulted in the total loss of the car. Today, we remember the Focus and celebrate the short time we shared together.
In the nearly two years we spent together, we certainly had our ups and downs. For the most part, I will remember you as a good car, a car that I enjoyed driving most of the time. You were always ready to go, handling highway cruising and twisty back roads with equal poise. Your air conditioner was always cold and your seat heaters always warm. There was the first night when you came home and we went for a drive to get to know each other. I’ll never forget the time we drove home from Maryland in a torrential downpour but you didn’t miss a beat, never distracting me from the podcasts I listened to the entire trip.
Sure, there were some hard times, but no relationship is perfect. Sometimes you were a little slow to shift when I needed more power. Your windshield wiper control stalk moved in the opposite direction of every car I’ve ever owned. Your bluetooth capabilities sometimes didn’t work. Of course, there was the time when your transmission control unit failed. And there were your blind spots, oh Lord your blind spots. But all of these things were fixable (sometimes even under warranty) or else I could learn to live with them. More importantly, they were forgivable.
The thing that I will remember you for most, however, is the way that I can’t shake the feeling that you gave your life for us. No one wakes up in the morning expecting to be in a car accident, but when the time came, your side impact protection kept us safe, absorbing the impact from a much larger car without sacrificing the integrity of the passenger cabin. You took a lot of damage and both of your side curtain airbags deployed, but we walked away without a scratch.
And so that is how I will remember you. The warning lights on the dash display asking if I needed to call 911. The smell of the air bag. The scared look on my daughter’s face as I unbuckled her from seat and pulled her out of the other side of the car without a mark on her.
You died there in that intersection, but we walked away.