After so many years of working as a nurse, I still find myself waking at 5 am. And at 7 pm I feel a nudge to give Mom a call, as I always did every evening at that time. Today I drove past the spot where mom had a little accident. It was the last time she drove. And when I drive past the D*V I'm reminded of when my dad tried to pass the vision test, but sadly could not connect it all in his mind. The end to his driving.
I can't seem to help these internal "triggers" (for want of a better word) which turn into reminders of another place or time for me. I like the associations that come with them . . . many years of a fulfilling career, wonderful "check in" conversations with Mom, just to hear her voice and know she was OK . . . .
As for the end of my parents' driving days, both somewhat sad times have a wonderful memory attached. It was hard to watch my intelligent dad, after driving for more than 70 years, struggle to connect warning signs, stop signs, etc. But what I remember most about that day is the young man who was testing him. In a busy government agency, he took time with my dad. He let him repeat the test, he talked gently to Dad, and finally suggested that he get a nice ID card that looked just like a driver's license. He understood what we were facing, and he showed us the utmost sensitive care.
What I remember most about mom's accident is the 40-something woman who came to her aid. She saw what was going on and jumped out of her car to help Mom. This angel in disguise phoned me, and gave mom a place to sit in her car while waiting for me to arrive. She gave witness to the accident, made sure mom was OK and was a great comfort to her. She set a high standard for me to emulate.
I like these little reminders of the sweetness of life.