Monday, February 16, 2009

Someone's Sweet Grandmother, But it's Got to be Done

For years I sometimes direct traffic as an extra job. It's an easy $120 for four hours work that I stash in my savings account. On my first day I almost got ran over by a little old lady. Over time we all got to recognize her and the profile of her head barely reaching over the steering wheel. We always wished we could find out who she was so we could sent a request to the state mandating she get a physician's approval to continue driving. Well, after 6 years the opportunity arose.

I got flagged down in the middle of a major street saying an old lady is all over the road. I find the car and it looks vaguely familiar. I pull her over and the poor thing has trouble stopping, well actually she isn't stopping. I know she just can't see her mirror. When she finally does stop I get to talk to her. I learn this is the same woman we all know from directing traffic. I spent the next half hour, on the side of the road trying to politely explain she really should rethink her driving. It maybe that her Lincoln is too big for her. She is a very small, 84-year old lady. After that half hour I realized she really was a sweet old lady. The last thing she would ever want to do is hurt another person with her driving. She also reminded me of my 89-year old grand mother. For years we'd been pleading with her to stop driving but she's stubborn and refused. It finally took her plowing through road construction crew and nearly hitting people (and not realizing it) before we persuaded her doctor to stop her from driving. As I was talking to the old lady I was mentally debating whether or not I was going to fill out the medical form and send it to DPS. I didn't have to heart to tell her this, I just couldn't. After pleading with her to either get a smaller car or reconsider driving I was torn on whether or not I should fill out the form to have her prove her eligibility to drive. She's a widow, and on this particular day was coming from a funeral. On the other hand, I've seen her bad driving for years and perhaps her family has been trying to beg her to stop driving. So, when I return to work I will reluctantly do it.

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