I broke my right ankle a week before Thanksgiving and ended up in an air cast with crutches. I have moved to one crutch, no crutch and recently taken off my air cast. I am mobile once again and have learned a lot. (More)

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I can drive again which feels like the freedom I once felt when I first got my driver’s license about 55 years ago. Having to ask my son and daughter-in-law to pick up coffee felt awkward. They didn’t in any way begrudge my requests but I felt dependent on others in a way that was new to me. My mother had multiple sclerosis and quit driving years before she died. I don’t think I was as empathetic as I could have been given my last 7 weeks of immobility. My oldest son came twice to pick me up, once for theater performances of his three kids and once for Christmas Day. It was like a trial run at old age. I just turned 70 and don’t feel old at all. Ha!

Years ago I was at my cousin’s for Thanksgiving. Cousin’s mother-in-law was in her 80s and much discussion happened among her three kids on how to get her car away and her license revoked. I came home and wrote both my sons a letter telling them I trusted them to know when I should no longer be driving and not to dither over it for a minute. Just present me with the letter and move on. I have just had a glimpse of what that might feel like and I am not ready.

I drove to the grocery store on my first outing. I have a stick shift and it went really well. I opted to use the scooter at the grocery store. My mom had a scooter and she was great at explaining to curious kids that her legs didn’t work anymore so she had to use had a scooter. Would that we were all as frank as kids in confronting disabilities and as honest as my mom in responding. At my recent trip to the grocery store, a maybe five year old girl was riding in a compartment under the main cart. She looked at me and said, “Won’t your mom let you run loose either?”

For the walking upright among us, please don’t leave your cart in the middle of the aisle while you bicker over what kind of rice to buy. And when someone asks if you could move the cart so that they could pass, don’t get all offended because someone interrupted your argument at your best point. After I thanked the man for moving his cart I said, “You are fighting about something truly unimportant. Please get onto more important things.”

Also, many thanks to all the shoppers who asked if they could reach the peanut butter on the upper shelf for me or the butcher who helped me by getting the chicken out of a ‘convenient’ waist high display.

I realize what a privilege mobility is and I am grateful to have it back. I am being very careful. I no longer read my iPad while going down the stairs among other cautions. Handrails are there for a reason and I use them. I will not quietly give into old age, whenever it is that it starts.


Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.