Three middle fingers.
Two obnoxious hoooooooonks.
Countless awkward stairs from passer-byers.
That's what you get when you drive 30 mph on a 65 mph road.
I think we can all admit to being guilty of one of the afore mentioned actions, when we've been stuck behind a slow-moving car or a seemingly careless/wreckless/bad driver. Well folks...today, I was that slow moving car. With my flashers on, I drove slowly and carefully down the road, being very mindful that the speedometer did not read anything over 35 mph. At each stop light or sign, I stopped about 3 car lengths behind the car in front of me. I even pulled over when I noticed a long chain of cars patiently or not-so-patiently stringing along behind me. At one point, as I pulled over to allow other cars to pass, I counted 11 cars passing by...a tiny bout of remorse set in, as I was well aware that there were probably more impatient drivers than there were patient ones. But an even bigger bout of remorse set in when I realized that more than likely, I would have been one of the impatient ones.
You see, my grandmother (TeTe), loves to drive around town and just look. She likes to look at cars, lawns, people, billboards, houses...she loves it. But, you can't go any faster than 35 mph because it makes her too nervous. For those of you who do not know, my grandmother has dementia.
"Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior."Visiting home has been a lot different over the past few years. My grandmother has changed dynamically in her behavior and appearance. In some ways, she is the woman I always knew growing up. But in many other ways, she is not. Spending time with TeTe seems more valuable and fragile, now more than ever before, because the level of care and attention required has significantly increased. I love my grandmother. And while it is hard to see her in the state that she is in, it also provides a reality check for me to slow down and enjoy life and my loved ones. My grandmother loves to reminisce and talk about the old days and share memories and stories, because that is what is most familiar to her. It's a beautiful thing.
So now, I don't mind driving 30 mph in a 65mph zone with my flashers on. And when I'm driving by myself and I get stuck behind that one slow or seemingly ridiculous car... I take a moment to myself to slow down and practice patience- realizing that the person in front of me is a driver or better yet, a human being, just like me. And whether there is a method to their madness/slowness or not, I am reminded of one of my grandmother's favorite sayings: