Snapshots from Green Victoria (tedwords) wrote,
Snapshots from Green Victoria

Jesus! Take the wheel...

"Thanks for paying for the oil and filter change," I said to Corb, as the 'stang fishtailed its way down the snowy streets of Eldredge.

"As if I had any choice," grumbled Corb. "I was sick of hearing you complain about it."

"So, what do you want for lunch?" I slowed down the 'stang to a crawl as we approached a traffic light.

At the same time, his cell phone started buzzing. We both knew who it was going to be. We had been expecting the call.

"Head toward the Stop and Grab," Corb said, then picked up his phone. "Hey, Mom."

"How much snow did you get? It's like a blizzard here! And I'm supposed to be at the hospital to see Jim in ten minutes..."

"You need us to help shovel?" Corb asked. "We're in Ted's car, but we could drive home, and--"

"No, almost done. Just want to get out of here, and--"

"How's Jim?"

A sigh. "He seems to be okay. Stabilized. His face is sagging on one side and he's slurring his words some times, but other times, he sounds fine. He's alert, too. The doctors think those are good signs. Of course, he'll be in therapy for quite a while."

"Did the doctors ever find any connection between his stroke and the car accident a few days ago?"

I pulled into the Stop and Grab, turned off the car. Thoughtfully, Corb placed his cell phone on speaker, so we could both listen to the conversation. Her voice sounded loud and brassy, pumped through the phonespeaker. "Well, I think there is. That wasn't his first car accident recently, you know."

"Oh, really?" I asked.

Corb smiled. "I just put you on speakerphone."

"Well. You remember the one he was talking about at Thanksgiving, right Ted?"

I nodded my head. Not that she could see. "But I thought he wasn't at fault for that."

"That's what he said. But who knows? He definitely was at fault for one that happened a month before that. He backed into one of our neighbor's cars. Ended up paying out $3,000 out of pocket, because he didn't want them to report it to the insurance company. And that's not the first time, either. Three months before that, he rear-ended someone, and had a hell of time talking the person into not reporting it. That one cost him $1,700."

"Wow," I whistled. "Four accidents in the past six months?"

"And the last accident was a bad one. His car was destroyed. And that's not to mention the way he's been driving overall! The other day, we were headed to the Cape and he was driving 95 miles an hour and actually speeding up. I had to yell at him to slow down. I get nervous being in the car with him, to tell you the truth. After this last accident, I had to talk to him about giving up driving."

"He must have loved that," said Corb.

"He was furious! Called me at work and said he was thinking of asking me to move out, because I wasn't a good partner and wasn't supporting him. And I said to him, Jim what if there had been a child in the back of that last car you rear-ended? They wouldn't be alive today! I said that it wasn't just feeling bad for him, if he were to get into a serious accident like that. It was the guilt I would feel, because I hadn't been able to talk him into giving up the keys."

I put my hand on Corb's knee and squeezed it. "No one likes to hear that they have to give up the keys, though. It's all about giving up your freedom. And Jim's such an independent guy."

"I know, I know. I tried to focus on the positives. He loves to walk. He loves riding on the train to Boston. He could take a cab to get places. I tried to get him to see that it's not that he's losing one thing, he's gaining the ability to do more things that he really likes." She paused. "He didn't see it that way."

I stifled the urge to say, "Well, he has no choice, now." That wouldn't be nice.

Sounds like Jim has an uphill battle, here. The good thing is, I think: this guy likes challenges. I have a feeling that if he can see it in that way, things might turn out okay.

Still, the whole thing makes you think. Whispers of mortality, glimpses of the future.

I'm grateful I have many, many years of driving ahead of me before I get even close to that point. But what will happen once Corb and I are old and wrinkly, and I start to creep past the point where I should be behind the wheel? Corb will be the first to say that I am the world's worst backseat driver. I can only hope that I'm so blind by that point, I won't be able to see the road in front of me. That way, Corb will have a lot less stress in his life when it comes to driving Miss Daisy.

Tags: corb, diana
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