“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose” – OR – having Wheels.

I was 16 when I got my permit and 16 1/2 when I got my Junior License.  I had wheels and I was FREE.  We drove all over the near earth.  We were alive and in search of Life.  Gas was cheap – 25 cents a gallon.  Even then – that was cheap.

Over the years, I’ve given little thought to driving.  It is part of my life – especially living in the Burbs.  You can not live in the Suburbs without a car.  There is no real public transportation – at least none that even compares with what there is in the City.

We had to ease our parents into not driving – they resisted – but we won.  They really had very few places to go.  Their world had shrunk to the size of a bedroom.  Sad.

Almost a year now since my wife’s stroke.  The first three months she was in rehab facilities.  No place to go.  Her world had shrunk to the size of her room and a couple of hallways.

Then she was home.  No issue of her driving – it was not a possibility – and she did not want to be out.

Things changed – slowly – but they changed.  The burden was on me.  I was the chauffeur.  I had to make it happen for her.  “I don’t mind being at home, really, ” she would say. Her functioning did not allow her to be out and about.

We worked on her dorsiflexors – those muscles necessary to raise the toe of the right leg and move it from the gas to the brake and back.

She became dissatisfied with being at home.  She wanted to drive.  We started – a little at a time. The weather was still snow and ice and that was my excuse for keeping it slow.

It is spring – she is driving – independently for the last 3 weeks.  Each venture out is a bit longer – a bit more freedom.  Now she is looking for reasons to leave the house – like a 16 yo kid.

Freedom is just another word for her having wheels – her freedom – and mine.