I heard a news story about “Driving and the Elderly’
This I can comment on with great authority because I have many driving stories about my now 80 year old dad. The story came about, as in New Zealand an elderly gentleman of 108 had just had his license renewed. 108, well that’s just bizzaire.
Then I started thinking back to those rare times when we got to sit in the cab, right up front with dad in his truck, he had a concrete pumping business called Endeavour Pumping. I would relish those times, think of it as those special moments when we had him to ourselves without our mothers venom piercing us. I know strong words for another story (maybe)
Dad had always had trucks as his mode of transport, first as a brikkie and then as a concrete pumper. The big Boom Pump truck, was, to very small people seen as being bloody enormous, it was an effort to climb in, a Boom Pump shovels concrete through pipes up and over yonder to where parts of buildings are difficult to reach or require too much man power.
|For those who didn’t know this is a Boom Pump|
Well back in the day it was awesome for littlies to sit in the cab with dad, you were sat up high looking out these what appeared to be at the time ginormous windows, bit like a bus driver I suspect.
We shouted loudly to dad, go faster, go faster, especially over bumps so we would fly up of our seats, and back down again with a little thump. I can’t remember if we wore seat belts in those days either.
Now dad bless him has had a few prangs, in his time both with trucks and cars, which he will deny was ever his doing or his fault. He can drive a truck no problem but I think driving a car is a different story, judging by the state of his car.
In fact when he went to England a couple of years ago he hired a car and drove on the M1, I said
‘Dad you didn’t really drive on the M1 did you’
‘Yes’ he said very proudly and with a twinkle in his eye.
I said, ‘Dad did you hear a few blasting horns and finger waving on your trot down the M1.’
‘Yes’ he said sheepishly.
I know there was no way dad would have driven over 80k’s on a freeway considering he drives 40 and in the ditch at that at home if your lucky.
When we visited Auckland last month, I saw him drive up the street, park, get out of the car, my younger brother got out of the passenger side, they both stood peering intently at the side of the car where there appeared to be a significant scrape down one side. They discussed it for a bit and then came inside.
I looked at brother number 2 and asked, what was going on. ‘Dad’s had a dingle, that apparently wasn’t his fault.’ We both looked at each other with knowing nods as we have been down this path before.
Dad swears black and blue that someone must have hit him while parked in the car park. Now I have been in the car with dad whilst he has parked in a car park bay, at the local mall, where he not only missed the parking bay, but parked half in and half out of a garden bed in said mall. I said,
‘Dad you can’t leave your car parked that way’ he said and quite rightly so, ‘Why not’.
I am sure a parking attendant would look at him try to argue and just plain well give up. Don’t argue with the elderly as they are smarter than you, trust me.
So Vern my brother says to him on the quiet. ‘So dad, should we get your car fixed AGAIN’
Dad looks across at my brother and says, ‘Nah I’ll just do it again’.
I should mention here that none of us will let him drive us around and about when we visit, you do for the first trip when you haven’t been home for a while and then it all comes flooding back, we ask him ever so gently to pull over, tell him to swap seats and then we resume our journey as we want to get there in one piece, with us driving.
Don’t you love him, and no he won’t give up driving, potters up the shops and back. I would struggle to give away that bit of last independence as well, wouldn’t you, no matter how terrible we think it is he wouldn’t see it that way.
So I do understand how you let a 108 year old have his license renewed, I just hope and pray there is no one else on the street when he drives. I am sure his eye sight is great, it’s his reflex action I worry about.
|Part of the Bowler Family. Brett, Alan (dad), Derek & Rae|
So what have I learnt.
- That one day I probably will drive like my dad
- I have learnt that I appreciate and value the time I have with my dad
- That above all else I have learnt that I love my dad.