Senior Anxiety by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

Senior Anxiety
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
Philippians 4:6-7
March 20, 2008

Through my early years of driving, I would often see a "senior" citizen drive by and I would think, "Why does that person still have a driver's license?" When I was in my 20's, my grandparents came to visit from out of state. They were in their 70's, not in good health but wanted to make this last trip of several thousand miles to see various relatives, their great-grandchildren in particular. My husband and I were delighted to see them but were also dismayed at their nonchalant attitude about the length of the trip, drove a car that was over 20 years old. As I went into my 40's, I would get caught in traffic by a slower driving white haired man or woman and would think, "Don't they know what a danger they are to themselves and to others?"

Then suddenly, in my 50's, I started hearing, "sure wish I had my car back." "My kids took my car away." Now in my 60's, I'm living in a senior hi-rise apartment building. I have no limiting health or driving impairments and hope to drive for many more years. And I have friends who are still very capable drivers well into their 80's.

Early on in my 60's there was a period of a couple months I was without my car. Due to a death in his family, it took one month for my repairman to find time to come pick up the car. Then another month to work in the procuring of parts; repairs needed to get everything back in working order. By the third month, I was really getting anxious. Not regarding the repair, I was anxious because I felt I too was becoming home bound. I relied on others to drive me to do my errands, to the bank, post office, grocery and drug store. I had always been the person to drive others; that's the way I thought it would always be.

The amount of expense involved in having a car was considered. A family member suggested that maybe it was time to sell my car, rely on the bus and others, save the money spent on car insuran ...

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