It was the summer, or spring, of 1971 and I was all of 13 years old. My sister was a senior in high school and my brother was in the Army stationed in Germany. It was sunny and warm in the Seattle area during this time. My parents had been divorced for awhile and my mom was still driving the family car. An "Olds 88". I guess she thought it was time for a new car to go along with the kind of life she wanted to live. I can remember two of the cars she brought home during the test drive phase. One was a green Torino (not sure what year it was). The other was a 1969 Mercury Cougar. Black vinyl top, Light Ivy Yellow body color. It was love at first sight for me. I told my mother that I wanted that car when she was done with it. My butt traveled many a mile in the passenger seat of that car. When I got older I would sneak it out at night occasionally thinking I was quite the stud, not realizing that I was being an idiot. Flash forward to 2007. I'm now married and living in metro Atlanta. Mom is living in Santa Ana, CA. Mom call me one day (we talk at least twice a week, sometimes more). Mom: Hi honey, how are you? Me: Fine. How are you? Mom: Do you still want the Cougar? Okay, this car is the first major purchase my mother ever made on her own. She has never owned another vehicle in her life. She paid it off in 1972 and put away a car payment every month since then so she could get it repaired whenever it needed it. Mom was getting up there in age and had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Much to the chagrin of my wife, I said sure, I'll take it. She drove the Cougar for another two years while having it repainted and some other issues taken care of. In October of 2009 she said she couldn't drive anymore. I had the car transported out here that same month. It arrived about nine at night. I picked it up in a vacant lot. Just myself and the transport driver. I sat there for awhile after the guy left and thought of all the good times, arguments my mother and I had in that car. The trips we took to visit family. The times my sister had to take me someplace or another. When my brother would come home on leave and he'd let me tag along with him in the car while he visited his friends. Mom will occasionally ask me about her car. But that is becoming a bit more infrequent. I can't locate any old pictures of the car, so the one I've posted is when I put new shoes on her. Nothing but the best for her. I'm losing my mother a little bit every day due to the effects of the Alzheimer's, but I still have a piece of her life sitting in my garage. I still drive it like I was 16 so watch out.
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