Sunday Driver

To the long line of drivers behind me, I am sorry. Please know that I am likely not even aware I am driving 40 mph in a 55 mph zone. At some point it will dawn on me, and I promise to hit the gas and make my way to at least 45.
If I could only contact each of you and explain; convince you that my snail’s pace is the best thing for all of us. I just need a little extra time. It’s been awhile since I’ve driven.
Maybe if you’d known me before I got sick. Maybe then you wouldn’t sigh, or roll your eyes and ride my bumper. You might even cheer me on if you knew all I’d been through to get back in the driver’s seat.
Maybe if you’d known me when I was a home health nurse, logging more hours in a car than I can count, you would show some grace. Twenty years, I drove from house to house providing treatments and medicine to those unable to transport themselves. I drove on roads that looked like driveways in weather that forced most to stay inside. Maybe you would see me in a more heroic light; be grateful and consider I may have once cared for someone you love. You might even stop shouting things like, “good grief,” or “c’mon lady,” or worse.
Maybe if you’d seen me on my last day of work; watched me turn in my nursing bag, computer, and name tag; saw me hug, and cry, and say good-bye to my friends and co-workers, maybe then you would find some patience. If you had witnessed my devastation, how helpless I was to save my livelihood in the wake of this microscopic army; if you had seen me when I was a whole person and watched that last piece of my old life crumble, leaving me barely standing – – an isolated ruin. Maybe then your testy fingers would cease tapping the wheel.
If you had watched me grow frustrated when my light switch would not start my dryer, or witnessed my panic when I could not remember the way home, or glimpsed my daughter’s face when she realized I was seeing things that were not really there. Maybe you could find it in your heart, to stop slamming your palms on the wheel, and instead smile and feel happy that some of the cobwebs have been cleared from my mind and, even with an occasional wrong turn, I always find my way home now.
I want to go faster. I do! I long to feel the confidence of a drive at the legal limit of speed. I hate making you wait, being that person who slows everyone down. I want to feel the wind blow my hair and turn up my radio. I want what you want right now while stuck behind me and what you will have as soon as I am out of your way.
I have been forced into the passenger seat for two years, sitting passively saying, “Turn left, now right. Take me to the grocery, then the pharmacy, please. Can we stop at the library?” Or, worse, I ask to be taken, to attend to an errand, and I hear, “Oh, I can drop that off for you!” or “What do you need? I can pick it up and bring it home.”
Being a passenger after having been so capable is like being a very hungry baby, whose mother is distracted and doesn’t bring spoon to mouth quickly enough. And just like that baby wants to grab the spoon and do it herself, so I ache to grab the wheel and deliver myself wherever I need and want to go.
So maybe I will speed up, but then again, maybe I will just pull over and let you pass me by, asking yourself, “What’s wrong with her? Why doesn’t she get off the road?” I won’t get to tell you that there is, in fact, a lot wrong with me but not as much as there used to be. I understand you cannot wait, but the road ahead has been here a long time, and she and I have some reacquainting to do. I am going to look out the window, feel the breeze, listen to NPR, listen to pop music. I am going to choose where to go next. And I am not, nor can I be, in a hurry.
Lyme feels like this.

Published by

Amy Estoye

Nature nerd, wife, mom, birder - but not a crazy one - amateur lepidopterist. Not a professional photographer but I love taking photos on my tiny adventures. I follow Christ first and birds and butterflies second. The kids are grown - for the most part - so it's time for what I call my "old lady hobbies" and I am going to enjoy them! Besides trekking through the out of doors, I like to garden, knit, sew, write, and read. Welcome to my blog and thanks for reading my words :)

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