Parental Journal 75 from Planet Elderly – Mom’s 90th Birthday Present to Herself: Passing Her Driving Test (Yipes!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 – Evening

What can I say?  The gal’s got guts.  After seven failed attempts previous to this visit, I took her to the motor vehicle place today thinking this would do it; this would convince her to voluntarily give up driving after she fails one more time.  She passed.  The tester said it was “almost a fail…but really, she just made little mistakes so it’s a pass.”  Mom was beaming.  I was not.

“She was so nice,” Mom said.

“I’m sure she was,” I said as we drove home.

“Yeah, the lady testers are much nicer than the men,” Mom said.

Not only did she pass, she passed using her reading glasses.  Jeez.

So…plans are revised.  Mom can legally drive for another year.  As before she will do so only in nice weather and her destinations are minimal.  She has not had an accident in recent years other than losing side view mirrors as she attempts to pull the car out of the garage, and to her, those incidents do not count as accidents.  Right.

When I told Kevin he said, “What are we gonna we do?”

“We step back,” I said.  “She still makes her own decisions and the State of Illinois has given her permission to drive. So be it.  We stay on the sidelines for support and/or rescue.  She’s doing this her way and I have no legal authority yet to stop her.”

However…if she should have an accident or run into problems with getting lost…then we’ll need to disable the car.  Kevin can assist with that.

Alas…the driving saga continues.  Who would have thought????

Birthday Gal

Overall, Mom enjoyed her 90th birthday on August 16.  Mom shares a birthday with Dad’s former roommate, Raymond, so Raymond’s daughter, Judy, made some lemon pies for both and we celebrated in the lobby area of where Dad and Raymond live at Victory Lakes.  Dad was too agitated to join us, but Raymond’s wife, Betty, Sister Margo and another retired nun whose name I can’t remember (sorry)…joined us.   Judy’s lemon pie is delicious.

birthday 081616

birthday 2 081616


After visiting Dad, I took Mom to see the Meryl Streep film “Florence Foster Jenkins.”  We enjoyed it.  I thought it was well done, very amusing, and quite tender.

Following the movie Mom insisted on buying dinner, so we went to Chili’s and she had a steak.  I enjoyed some pasta/chicken/Alfredo sauce dish…a bit rich, but enjoyed the other half for lunch today.

Mom 90th birthday dinner 081616

Dad was quite agitated during our two visits yesterday.  He gives orders…tries to figure some things out…and struggles so much to say what he means.  It makes Mom cry to see him say sentences like, “We got the flub dub tub trub…uh….oh….I don’t know…how to zip…zap…zippy….”  I’m coaching her on his changes and I think she pretty much understands that he’s just not able to say what he wants to say much of the time.

We took a selfie at the end of our second visit with Dad on Mom’s birthday.

birthday selfie 01 081616


About jjmummert

This blog was originally titled "Drifting Toward Planet Elderly," and it shared a journey I had with my elderly parents as they both finished their lives battling the complexities of dementia. After both passed on, I changed the title to "Living on Planet Elderly." I am a retiree who is reluctantly adjusting to the reality that she is now elderly. In July of 2021, I relocated to Middleton WI after living in Columbia MO for over 40 years. I decided that I want to experience a new and vibrant location in a cooler climate with lakes...a bucket list item of mine. I have a first cousin who lives in Madison. We have nice childhood memories, and I thought it would be wonderful to spend some time together as elders. It was. AND March 2023, I returned to Columbia. I had a wonderful time experiencing the Madison area of Wisconsin, spending time with my cousin, and making some wonderful friends. No regrets.
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