Grounded From Wheels

I’m goin’ home

And when I wanna go home

I’m goin’ mobile

Well, I’m gonna find a home

ON WHEELS, see how it feels

Goin’ mobile

Keep me movin’

 I can pull up by the curb

I can make it on the road

Goin’ mobile

I can stop in any street

Invitin’ people that we meet

Goin’ mobile

Keep me movin’

 ~ The WHO

 Due to circumstances I’ve not much control over I voluntarily have grounded myself from my wheels. Driving has always been a passion of mine –  here I am talking in past tense – the freedom to just get up and go is one now I realize I so took for granted.

I don’t have the exact day I stopped driving. Again. Because I have done it two times before this time. I stopped before neck surgery and after the cervical fusion of C4, C5, & C6. I had little range of motion that is a requirement for driving on the streets of the USA. Maybe it is different else where but the thought of people driving without being able to turn their heads left and right is a disturbing one. I knew straight away how dangerous it had become to drive when on the streets of downtown Seattle in broad daylight I was trusting my faith in God and His angels to help navigate me – pilot – uphill from the crazy busy stop and go traffic of Pikes Market to the quieter pedestrian corners of what is affectionately known as Pill Hill, but in reality is First Hill. It took me only a few times too many to admit that becoming a Seattleite and parking my wheels in the garage was the wisest choice. Only to be brought out for trips to the burbs, and long distance to the kids.

But I was not happy doing it. Nope.

And for the third time now I have parked my wheels. I cannot give the exact day I did it this time. It has not been long after the second time. I thought then that the short time grounded was the last time. I now know there will never be a last time because of the mechanics of my neck and shoulders.

This time, this third time has seemed permanent. It’s not been a year, but it’s been more than 6 months. I miss the little things about driving that I took for granted. Being able to jump behind my wheels and make fast trek to my favorite paper arts stores, craft and art stores. I have a system and when I need replenishing I prefer the luxury of driving myself, alone, not feeling the need to hurry.

I have the most ardent and sweet chauffeur. He never is too busy, always ready when I need to be somewhere else. There are tender moments that would no doubt be missed if I was not in need of a ride during the middle of the day – and in the middle of a project. No matter what I think is urgent, no matter how far and during the traffic crunch I’m sure to need to be, my BFF is as always my gallant Knight in Shining Armour. He is who comes to my immediate rescue.  How blessed am I?

Yet having to give up my wheels is still not something I am doing with grace. I wish I could say that I am. To be honest I am somewhat resentful. It’s not making a happy camper out of me having to be grounded from my own four wheels. Despite that it has been completely voluntarily so.

I miss things about driving that I only have dreams and wishes about, as well as the everyday things I took for granted. I have on my ever-growing bucket list two things regarding driving; Nascar Racing, and to travel across different countries, small rural areas being the focus in a luxury touring car. A Mercedes will do nicely, thank you. Speeding at 200mph around an oval track and slowly and with purpose trekking through mountain roads in places like Madrid.

I continue to dream these possibilities.

Being grounded from my wheels is only temporary for me. Who am I to be so ungrateful? This is not permanent and with work and skills I will get myself back behind the wheel knowing with all confidence that I can look left, look right, and even look over my shoulders. So why am I whining so? I detest being dependant on others for anything, and for me this is what having the privilege to driving is. Yet when illness or injury have a whopping effect on the ability to so safely it’s time to put away pride along with my keys.

I’d love to meet you, putting faces to names is one of the magical things about life and people. However; I trust you’ll give me  a rain check this time. This time until the restriction for your safety is lifted.

Being grounded from wheels is a bummer – just a little bit of one.

©TJHELSER 2012

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21 thoughts on “Grounded From Wheels

  1. My dear, brave, beautiful Baroness:
    I have been praying for you these past few days after I read this post. I understand the difficulty in handling this passage in your life (whether it turns out to be temporary or permanent).

    I remember feeling that way after the loss of a child and several miscarriages. The things we assume are going to be ours, the things that make us like other regular people, sometimes elude us or are even completely unavailable. There is a grieving process that goes along with it.
    So I hear that in what you are saying, and I hear your determination to put it in a healthy perspective. I weep with you and applaud you. Do you remember the driving scene in ‘Scent of a Woman”? Perhaps there is a way and a non-trafficked place for you to zoom and drive……just for fun….like a race car place with pizza that the kids go to>>where they zoom and zip around and around…

    Perhaps a Red Hat outing?

    Anyway~do know that I wish you love; today and everyday…….I wish you open roads, lovely skies, glorious daffodils, fields of daisies, ocean breezes….and laughter.

    • My Dearest kind and sweet Katie,
      You touched a place that sent me for the box of tissues. sniff sniff..I’m still trying to write through tears that just keep coming. It must have been needed. I feel like one of those times where you know you are keeping it together but if the right person even just reaches out and touches the dam lets loose. Do you know what I mean?

      That you shared such a private and painful time in your life with me is an absolute treasure that I’ll hold dear and close to my heart forever. Thank you.

      I do remember the scene in the movie with the handsome Pacino You make me laugh through these tears Kate at the image it conjures up for me Ooooo-rah!.
      And with me behind the wheel. Ooooo rah!
      Now I have gone from sobbing to fits of giggles at the wonderful thought of 40 wicked crazy fun Red Hatters in Go-Carts. I’ll be working on that. I wonder how many would jump on board.

      You my friend are an incredible woman and friend. You touch me deeply and spiritually which is hard to do both with me. Your sincerity always rings so true there is something special and unique about you.
      Thanks again my friend for sharing such deeply touching things with me,

      • I’m so glad to hear back from you. You have been in my prayers this day…..By the way~are you sure they can’t outfit your car with different kinds of side and rear view mirrors so that not being able to turn your hear can be compensated for by the mirrors??

        It is easy to be open and sharing with you. You have a welcoming and loving heart. You, too are an incredible woman and friend. I think of you when I see pix of oceans, PPM and oh so many, many things…..Laugh deeply this weekend, sweet ton! I am going to embed a silly Easter song to help you on your way!! Love you…..we ARE the new normal :-)…Hear us ROAR

        • You have me roaring so powerful like this beautiful morning before Easter Sunday. And laughing deeply has begun as the healing has also begun.

          I so adore the “We ARE the new normal!” Love this! Love this!

          You know Kate I never for one time considered when starting my WP blog and join this community I would find spiritually tuned women my age, it just was not what I THOUGHT I was looking for, God knew, and in his amazing wisdom and guidance helped me find you almost immediately, That’s how God works.

          Thanks Kate for the car mirror tips, something I’d not considered. You;re awesome to have thought about it, And thank you kind hearted lady for all the love and support that pours from you and your heart. I never would have thought it possible to feel more than a passing fondness for any sister or fellow blogger, and yet here to my absolute delight I find a friend like you, How incredibly awesome is the wonder of all God’s Works!

          • I know exactly what you mean…I truly do. When I began blogging in earnest about a year ago, I was looking for a way to get past my Bell’s palsy, and to start dealing with life in ways that were more authentically me….God provided me with a wonderful sister in you..God is beyond good and wondrous….love to you today….stay YOU!! hugs–kate

          • It’s a blessing indeed that my path has been crosesed with yours. God’s miraculous magic in the way things progress sometimes leaves me awe struck. Even after 50 ..ahem,, some years.

            Great love and gentle hugs to you today my friend. having women of powerful faith in my small world means everything real to me.

  2. I love driving, and I hate to know that have to limit yourself to being driveless. This is terrible. However, how so wonderful, charming, and blessed you are to have a knight beside you!! Terri

    • I too love driving, which along with the obvious loss of indepenence is why I am mourning it.
      One of the rare things I never take for granted is my Knight, I am so incredibly blessed I never have time to ask why.
      And I can still hear my mom saying to me, Tonijean, don’t get so smug you forget that your knight is a gift than can be taken away just as kindly as he came.

        • Thanks Terri, feeling a bit more like me. Cannot even explain this weekend but it’s over with and I’ve stopped the pity party stuff. So is not me.

          My mom was a very wise woman. I’m grateful life’s circumstances gave me the chance to move back home neat her & my two brothers. Had it not been that we were close geographically I’d not had the gift of living with her full time the last 2.5 months of her life. Another time my Knight shined.

  3. You have my sympathy, Toni. For me, C4 and 5 were fused at birth; I had surgery when C3 herniated. Now C6 and 7 have herniated and I need more surgery.

    Still, it didn’t occur to me to give up driving. Of course, I live in Florida, USA. We are called “Flat Landers” because the land is so flat here. Makes for easy driving.

    Blessings – Maxi

    • How difficult life must be for you at times, and yet your beautiful attitude and love of life shines through every letter you write.I always find so much love and understanding in your writings. With just the cervical issues I am dealing with which did not for me present until early 40’s I fought the fusion for almost 5 yrs. Until I could no longer lift my left arm above my shoulders.

      How on earth do you manage to keep your range of motion loose? This is why I have stopped driving. I am unable to turn my head to right and left to even check for traffic, it would be dangerous for me to drive right now. I’m not taking the chance since I don;t have to. I have my husband to help out, I work really hard at stretching and keeping my muscles strong – yet somehow with the combined neck stuff the muscle disease, connective tissue disease & auto-immune, Giant Cell Response I struggle to keep from being in complete spasms. Than with the Fibro factor which throws it;s own curve…. I struggle some days more than others.
      Yet knowing each morning I woke to have the gift of being able to put my feet on the floor and do those stretches is what I begin my day being grateful for. Not a bad way to start the day.

      Women like you who share their own life in the way you do keep me inspired, grounded and even grateful for the things that we find in common.
      Communities of many kind is part of the mastery of life.

  4. Pingback: Grounded Go Home

  5. All of my life,my need to go, to be somewhere other than where I am, is always strongest when I cannot go. No car, weather, whatever the reason I am grounded, I feel strangled. I hope your temporary grounding ends very soon, so that when you BFF is your chauffeur it is because that’s your choice.

    • Thanks Caro,l Kindred driver. It’s never bothered me before to be driven anywhere, like you said, it was a choice. Having the choice removed is what is really at the root of why this whole thing about being grounded bugs me. I’m not missing out on going where I want, just not like I want. Interesting…so one day when the choice is mine again I hope to reminded what lack of choices means.

    • I’m working on getting my wings back, it’s just frustrating to get ready to go somewhere without thinking then as I go for my keys… I remember. You are so right, BUMMER!

      Thanks for your good wishes. I know they help.

  6. I hear so much of what you are saying. I’ve been grounded before and it isn’t fun. Mine was temporary and I have the gift of wheels back. Maybe I’ll learn to not take it for granted. If I lived where you do, I would gladly be a secondary chauffeur for you! I love the first photo. I hope you get to go 200mph someday…you would have a blast!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Being validated helps so much. That someone else gets it softens the rough edges. Thank you.
      It’s so easy to take things like this for granted, I suppose that is why I felt the need to write about it. I’ll be glad to be back behind the wheel as soon as possible. PT & OT should help me get there I’m hoping.
      200mph on the auto-bon would be ever so cool too.

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

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