Thursday, November 19, 2009

PUT AWAY THE LINCOLN...AN END OF AN ERA...


Mom lost her driver’s license. It was the driving portion. She had previously squeaked by on the written portion about a week ago. She was a little anxious about it last night. She thought she was going to have to take a 3-hour driving test, which of course, it wasn’t. The young woman who tested her was wonderful. I wasn’t there, but my niece was (thank goodness for Tiffany), and Tiffany said that the driving instructor was very tender and kind-hearted when she explained to Mother that she could no longer have driving privileges. Mother took it very hard. She wept bitterly. She grieved for the independence she has fostered and, quite frankly, has fought for, for almost 90 years. She overcame the Depression, she overcame sexism (in her day, a woman couldn’t have her “own” credit-she was considered a “non-person”-FOR REAL!), she overcame widowhood-TWICE. She lives on her own and in her own house, thank you very much. It’s amazing to me what that little rectangular piece of paper signifies. It’s not that she often flew out the door at the spur of the moment to go shopping or playing cards with her friends, or out to lunch-oh wait-that’s exactly what she did...whenever she wanted...where ever she wanted...how often she wanted...now it’s gone. But! It’s been going slowly, I suppose. Here a little, there a little. It didn’t make it any easier.

I remember being taken to grade school in our big old Lincoln Continental. Mom would just whip into that huge car wearing her nightgown and robe. She would stop in front of the school and my brother and I would pile out of the back seat all warm and toasty. I remember the ladies of the neighborhood whispering about it. I'm certain Mother knew they were "discussing" it, but did that cause her to change her behavior? Heck no! There she went...flowing chiffon through the carport while David and I trailed after her with books and lunch boxes...

One Christmas morning, my Dad had one delivered to the house...yea...the man had class....

And then there was the time Mom and Pops were driving up from their home in Florida and when they got to Atlanta, Mom decided she had just had it with that particular car, traded it in, and arrived in Columbus with a completely different car. She actually changed cars mid trip. My brother asked her if she sold the car because the floor mats were dirty.

When my son Eli was younger he was attracted to certain rocks. He would pick them up, look at them, feel them, hold them, and if they felt right, he would keep them. If it was a "special" rock, he would even give it to someone he loved. A particularly special rock went to Grandma Wendy. She told him she would always keep it close to her. And she has. It's been in every tray of her car since that day long ago when he was perhaps 5 or 6. Every time she got a new car, she would transfer that rock. Yesterday, when we discussed selling her car she said, "Oh! I'll have to take my rock and bring it inside. That's my rock from Eli". She really "got" the specialness of that rock. I wonder if even Eli understood how special that rock really was?

You know that sad sad sad verse in the New Testament that just breaks your heart because it reads, “Jesus wept”? Well, one of the next saddest things in the world to hear is, “Mother wept”.

3 comments:

nancy said...

oh, DEB. "mother wept."

oh, DEB.

Cindy said...

Debbie...Ok....I am crying at this. This is such a beautiful piece of writing with so much feeling and emotion. This needs to be published somewhere where everyone can read this. You amaze me once again with your art of words.

Stephanie Jette said...

I remember going to Michigan every summer in her car..all 4 of us fit in the back sit. We had it all organized. The boys got he floor behind the sits and Emily and I got the soft comfortable backseat. I loved those trips...they will always be in my heart.

That and the bottle of water Gammy always had in the backseat. It was always so good. ;)