The Dark Road
The driving situation was going downhill fast. I shuddered to think of the children playing in the new family housing complex. Dad’s eye-site was failing, his dementia was worsening. What if a young child ran out to catch a rolling ball, or forgot to stop their bike on time? He finally agreed to not drive at night, and to stay off the highways as much as possible. But he would forget.
The Last Donut Run
I mentioned one of his side businesses was mini-donut making. He seldom made donuts any more as he had trouble figuring out how to run the machine. Despite this, there was an event at the office, and he just had to make his famous mini-donuts. The celebration wouldn’t end until after dark; I warned him this was a bad idea.
He proceeded on anyway, and on the way home that night the local police stopped him. This time they ticketed him, and this time they said he couldn’t drive until he had a formal evaluation.
The Driving Evaluation
He was a patient of the VA hospital, so we made an appointment for the driving evaluation. I anxiously waited in the family room, trying to read but unable to concentrate. Would someone finally take him of the road?
The therapist came out with my Dad, who looked very unhappy. I’m sorry, she reported, your father did not pass the driver’s test. I was relieved, but sad. Dad was quiet, no pie stops on this ride home.
Another step in taking away his independence. It was a very quiet ride home.
The driving saga ended, but it opened a whole new set of problems.
Stuck in the Brush
Dad, still rather angry about selling the house, became angrier. He said he was “stuck in the brush” in the new Villa. We lined up the local mobility service for trips to the store, church, or wherever he wanted to go.
I picked him up and drove him back and forth to the office still near my work. (In spite of the financial problems, he still “worked” on his projects.)
Looking back, those times in the car with him were precious. A local church handed out free coffee once a week, we made it a habit to drive through for the hot cup. He could still tell stories, like the one in the next blog about great-grandma and the wolves.