My grandfather, who passed away at 95, drove until around 80 years of age when he became a hazard on the road – bumping other cars, forgetting where he had parked his car and then reporting it missing.
This was beginning to happen more and more. Getting him to stop driving was difficult. How do you tell the man who picked you up from school, drove around in international cities, ferried my grandmother to every christening, wedding and funeral, and took his employees home after work, that he was no longer able to drive?
You say it with love and then you have to take the keys away.
There is no choice.
What if he were to hurt somebody or even himself?
Working on this story reminded me of my grandfather and how, the minute those car keys were taken away, it was as if he lost his will to live. He regressed to a place in his head where nobody could reach him.
I know we did the right thing.
But, at the time, it didn’t feel like it.