Last week while fueling my car, a lady backed into me. My initial reaction was to be upset as anyone would be, but when the elderly lady got out, it was clear she was struggling.
She told me she was sorry and just couldn’t remember how to drive. I got assistance from another person to put her car in park—she exited while it was in reverse pushing against my car—and I backed my car out and parked it nearby before talking with her.
I learned her name was Mary and she was very confused as to why I was there. I quietly asked the attendant to call PD but even as she was doing that Mary forgot why she was parked in the first place and tried to leave. I had to remind her she hit my car and we just needed to wait a minute. She tried to get back in her car and start driving again, but I got in front of it and insisted she put it back in park. She also could only figure out how to put it in reverse and park. I had to remind her that she just hit my vehicle, and that she might just be a little confused. She grew increasingly agitated and angry with me as I (as kindly as I could) let her know we needed to hang out and wait for a few. In the end, I lied to her and told her that because it was “near a fuel pump“ we had to wait for police to show up and tell us we could go. That made sense to her and I was able to convince her to stay with me and talk until the FD arrived to do a wellness check.
When they arrived, they said I could go (now late to pick up my daughter), but I stayed for a few more minutes to introduce Mary to the medics. As I pulled away the thought came flooding back over me that there is a last day for every activity that we will do under the sun, and to be grateful for each silly, hard, stupid, wonderful activity because we won’t be able to do it again—some day. This was likely Mary’s last drive behind the wheel. I hate that it was “because of” me, but I’m also glad it didn’t end worse.
You never know when it may be the last time you get to do an activity. Working, driving, chores, running, dancing, walking, talking...there will be a day that it’s not an option for you because you can’t.
So enjoy something you take for granted today, just because you can still do it. And let that be a moments tribute to my friend Mary.
Love well. Live well. Team Us.