In this photo, I am standing in front of my car. The smile was a long time in coming following my decision to stop driving.
I was 16 plus an hour when I successfully passed my driving test. Back in the day, we went from zero to 100 in a flash. Now, kids are G1’ng it, G2 and, then their Full G.
Purchasing my first car was a huge milestone! At 27 for $9,999, I was the proud owner of a Toyota Corolla.
I loved road trips. The spontaneity of waking up on a sunny Saturday and thinking ‘where shall I head today?!’
I realized I would be unable to drive at some point in my future due to my Stargardt diagnosis.
One of the best things a friend has done for me was in the form of a question. ‘How do you wish to hang up your keys?’ I immediately responded with ‘Driving a Mini Cooper!’ Two months later, I was the proud owner of a blue with white stripes Mini named Friday. Friday being the start of my weekend and driving fun. I took myself off the road two years later. I was only 56.
It started when driving in the dark became an absolute no, no. This, I discovered while on the road and realizing I could no longer define road from sidewalk. No worries, I would simply stop driving in the dark.
Then, the avoidance of driving on those beautifully, sunny, clear days as the shadows were extremely difficult to navigate. No worries, I would only drive during cloudy days.
The final realization was knowing I would not see the fox darting in front of me until he was directly in front of my headlight. Worries..this was my D Day. I arrived home with a very heavy heart and sadness in my eyes. It is an independence lost.
I miss driving my Mini, however I do not wish to endanger myself or anyone else.
I have been nicknamed Miss Daisy as in the movie ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. I have learned to ask for help when needed. I have a great city transit system. I have a son, who inherited my Mini, willing to drive his Mom to and fro.