Hanging Up My Car Keys

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.

Love, Denise

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