Friday, January 26, 2024

Taking Away The Keys -- I Dare You!

Daughter and I have some "interesting" talks -- to say the least.

They often arise on the spur of the moment; when least expected and as I've mentioned to her, need a little more "introduction" to the subject rather than what sometimes comes out as a comment or statement "out of the blue".

This was the question/statement the other day: 
"How do I (meaning "she") take the keys away?"

Now, I had just driven her for her carpool and we were sitting waiting for her ride and after a few moments of silence and time passing, this "thought" came out without any warning.

I've always championed my children at all ages asking questions and speaking about almost anything -- of course, they were also taught about "time and place" because others could be offended by some statements or questions.

Hmm.... don't like the sound of that now, what will I think of that when I am in need of "giving up" my precious mobility and freedom to come and go, work and play, here and there with whomever, whenever?

Well, for sure, the communication needs to start now. 
I get that. 

My daughter asked when my Mom stopped driving. 
Much better statement and approach.

I told her, complimenting her choice of words and saying to myself, "She's still a quick learner. Good for her. Now, hold that thought. Retain that phraseology and we're good to move forward into wherever and however life takes our journey together!"

Mom never had sight in one of her eyes except for a little peripheral vision and I don't remember her without glasses. 

She never remembered having sight in that eye. It's possible she did when she was very small and that as has been "conjectured" by some about the area where she lived when she was a child having some water problems in local rivers and streams where kids played that caused eye problems. 

Honestly. I never noticed a challenge. She wasn't a "daily driver" and when we moved to the house we lived in until she passed and where we lived the longest as a multi generational family unit, she sold "her car", the one we moved with us from Illinois to Pennsylvania and to Missouri as my husband's work opportunities moved us.

The location was a little more challenging. An older road at the time, a busier street to turn off of and onto. What age was she at the time? Younger than I am now. Wow! Just realized ....

She wasn't a person who wanted to "go out" with others; I'm sure that was because the majority of her adult life she couldn't have social relationships because we never knew what state my Alcoholic father might be in. Same reason I never really had close friends and we moved as much as we did. 

Mom went almost everywhere with me or with our family. She said when the children were in the car, she felt better sitting with them, spending time with them. I did errands and picked up the children from school without her but she didn't work, she didn't belong to any "clubs" or "organizations" and she chose not to go anywhere even though I constantly tried to get her to "go out".

She went shopping with me for groceries, to the Mall, to school for events and on trips we took as a family to the beach, to the mountains and to the cities to explore, have fun and relax. 

Mom also went places on her own travelling extensively on tours taking her to Europe, Asia and beyond. I think that "freedom to explore" and time with other people was a great benefit through the years. It gave her conversations with family and friends she met with us and lifelong memories until her ability to recall finally was lost to Lewy Body Dementia.

That was our gift to her when she came to live with us -- the use of her Social Security monthly check to travel and for whatever she "wanted" -- and monetary gifts from us so she could travel to some places and in ways her small allotment would not allow. 

We also took her on "family" vacations; two a year; we found great value in family time and getting away from the everyday world of work. We also provided for her needs of daily living until the end.

I know it could be more difficult for me than for my Mom -- not driving.

I don't have the eye problem I've been very active and involved in the community and in business and will be until I have to use Uber or a self drive vehicle! 

As I relay this thought of using Uber and/or a self drive car to my daughter she laughs because....she knows me....she knows that's exactly what I'd do. 

So maybe we won't have that mother/daughter talk and the ceremony of the "keys removal". What a wonderful thought to have, to be "free" to move more easily into the world, to continue connectivity, build relationships, work/volunteer/go!

We gave Mom the world and now the world may just be giving some additional "perks" to Seniors with new ways and new technology.

Originally published Oct, 2017; republished Jan 26, 2024

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