Six months after my 45-year-old brother died, his beloved Ford Focus ST was towed away by a charity group. Kevin\u2019s best friend, John, sent a photo \u2014 the yellow New York plates glistening in the spring sun, the silver paint still shiny after a long winter on a Manhattan street. The picture knocked the wind out of me, opening a new wave of grief. I took many hair-raising rides in that car with Kevin \u2014 speeding up the Saw Mill Parkway, radar detector on the dash, his Marlboro ashes trailing out the wide-open window as funk or blues blasted. Since the November 2020 morning when police found Kevin dead inside his apartment after an accidental overdose, his car had remained in the prime spot where he parked it. It stood sentry, a last vestige of my big brother in the Upper West Side neighborhood where he\u2019d loved living for 14 years. We left the car behind when we cleaned out his bachelor-pad loft. With 100,000 miles and thousands owed in parking tickets and taxes, the Focus and its turbo-charged engine wasn\u2019t worth the trouble, a lawyer told our father. We assumed it would get towed and junked, but it sat there collecting snow, then pollen and more tickets. Every few weeks, my father asked John to check on it. Dad doesn\u2019t usually abandon anything with a motor \u2014 dead or alive. Growing up, we had a rotating cast of rusted, \u201960s-era convertibles in our driveway. In his free time, Dad dissembled cars for parts or restored them to their glory. Kevin was always game for the ear-busting, bracing adventures that followed. I\u2019d be white-knuckled gripping my seat, a third, terrified wheel in their outings. The originals didn\u2019t have seatbelts, my dad shrugged. Besides, he and Kevin preferred the type of bounce that would send the wheels \u2014 and your backside \u2014 airborne simultaneously. These days, the wildest ride Dad, 75, takes is a slow cruise in his truck. A former smoker, he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and his only son\u2019s death likely accelerated a steep decline in his health. By the time Kevin\u2019s car was towed, Dad sold his motorboat. \u201cMy lungs are shot,\u201d he said, a tube of oxygen snaking through his graying mustache and beard. He had relied on Kevin to help with the boat, the last in at least a dozen he owned over the years as he grew up on Candlewood Lake in Brookfield, and where we later returned as a family to live. Starting at age 12, Dad pumped gas at a marina and out-of-state friends entrusted him with the keys to their slick speedboat. If he wasn\u2019t full throttle at the wheel, he was riding its wake on one ski. Kevin inherited Dad\u2019s love of choppy waves and high speed, but not his fix-it mentality or thrift. Dad indulged in an annual trip to Lime Rock Race Park in Lakeville. I would grudgingly go along, ears firmly covered, while Kevin and Dad attentively watched the vintage cars fly past. Later, Kevin upped the ante by taking up a passion for Formula One racing, a few times traveling to Europe to catch races at historic tracks. As soon as he got his first white-collar job, Kevin bought a brand-new Subaru Impreza WRX. He was 26. My father, an elementary school teacher, didn\u2019t purchase a new car until he was 61. By then, his tastes were practical \u2014 a pickup with room for his grandsons\u2019 car seats, a boat with less horsepower. But he and Kevin still enjoyed a fast boat ride on mornings when the lake\u2019s surface was glassy smooth. I can picture the wind blowing their red hair \u2014 Kevin\u2019s still bright, my dad\u2019s faded. In a few decades, I imagined Kevin\u2019s burnt, freckled skin would wrinkle and weather like Dad\u2019s. In recent years, as Dad\u2019s breathing grew increasingly labored, he started to hit the brakes. Kevin stepped on the gas. In the summer of 2019, Kevin was hooked on prescription pain pills \u2014 a disease he once drove into remission for a solid stretch in his 30s. He was also drinking again, something he\u2019d given up at 22 after he flipped his car and nearly died. Despite the mushrooming chaos of Kevin\u2019s life, Dad believed he\u2019d again get sober. But Kevin was running out of jump-starts. \u201cI don\u2019t have another one of these in me,\u201d he told me after his third, and final, trip to rehab in December 2019. I feared he was right. So I was grateful and proud of the ensuing eight months of sobriety he accomplished. I, too, began to feel optimistic. But in late August, a broken shoulder required two surgeries \u2014 and opioid prescriptions. When those ran out in mid-November, he bought pills on the street. The last call he made was to Dad. They spoke for six minutes. \u201cHe sounded good,\u201d Dad told my older sister, forever hopeful. The death was quick and painless, the medical examiner told us. Still, I can\u2019t help but picture how Dad was likely sleeping, the steady pulse of his oxygen concentrator pushing air into his scarred lungs, as Kevin stopped breathing and died \u2014 alone on his scuffed-up hardwood floor. When the daffodils bloomed this spring, I thought about how Dad and Kevin should be scrubbing the boat in the driveway, preparing for launch. Instead, we sat on the front porch and stared at photos of Kevin\u2019s car getting towed. I blinked back tears, but Dad remained pragmatic. He couldn\u2019t fix his son, but he did something I never thought I\u2019d see \u2014 walk away from a perfectly good engine. Carrie MacMillan lives in Oxford. She can be reached at email@example.com.