Give me your car keys

My dad turns to me and says “Give me your car keys.” I immediately feel a buzz in my brain that something is amiss, but can’t place it until my daughter barks “Mom” from the back seat. It’s not lilting or sweet but more of the voice of a person on the verge of a panic attack.

I asked my dad to drive with me to the nearest military base to help me get gas for my car. The power is out in much of area and all of the gas stations are closed. I ask him if he could take me on the military base to see if we could get gas there.  We need someone with a military ID to buy gas on base.

It has been more than two years since I’ve had my parents drive my children anywhere. I always have the perfect thing to say the day after I’m in a situation and need to quickly nip this request politely. I don’t want to embarrass him in front of his grandchildren.

Remarkably, I brush off his request and quickly slide into the driver’s seat before he got the keys from my hand. I didn’t realize how aware my kids are of what’s going on with my parents. My nine-year-old daughter has apparently gotten the gene from my husband to think on her feet.  The moment my dad asked, she knew he should not be driving and knows to alert me.

I’m amazed when I consider all those around me that are helping, asking, supporting, and listening to me as I face the reality that my parents are drifting away day-by-day.   Comforted.


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