It was the morning after a storm and the driveway was plowed. While my husband shovelled the walk, I left to do several errands that couldn’t wait. The roads were rough and icy from the freezing rain which had left a layer of ice under snow. I was cautious.
The main road was straight ahead and there were no vehicles on the road ahead of me. Suddenly a car pulled out of a side street on the driver’s side of my car, almost into my vehicle. I drive a compact. This one was a full size model which you don’t see much anymore.
I reacted immediately, and swerved to the right, away from the other vehicle. Had I not, he would have severely damaged my car and injured me. The other driver did not react at all, just kept going. I hit the ice and after several tense moments slipping around, I stopped just short of a pile of snow near the end of a driveway. The other driver was gone.
I paused for a few moments to collect myself. It had been totally unexpected and shocking. I was lucky.
I saw the other vehicle at a nearby intersection afterwards. The driver was an elderly man, older than me. I thought of my mother as I waited for the light to change.
Mom, at 79 was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm which couldn’t be repaired. She was still driving up to that point and after the unsuccessful surgery, the doctor said she couldn’t drive for six weeks. My brother and I were concerned about her driving at all with the aneurysm, a ticking time bomb, which would probably take her life quickly without much warning. We had to find a way to discuss it with her.
We didn’t have to worry though. Before she left the hospital, Mom told us she wasn’t going to drive any more despite what the doctor had said. She didn’t want to endanger any passengers, other drivers or pedestrians if the aneurysm should rupture while she was on the road.
I was with Mom when the aneurysm took her life quite suddenly. She would not have been able to control a car in those circumstances. The wonder is the doctor hadn’t said the same to her. Luckily she’d had the good judgement to know the difference and take herself off the road.
I hope as I age, I will, like my mother, know when it is time to hang up the car keys.