Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Aging and Changes: Maintaining the Privilege to Drive


On May 10th my husband turned eighty years old. God bless him, he’s made of Teflon because he’s bounced back from many ongoing ailments, many times. Turning eighty in Canada also means, by law, that it’s time to get re-tested with an aptitude and vision test by the Ministry of Transportation, and every two years thereafter to maintain a driver’s license.

My husband is a good driver and has been driving since he’s eight years old! I kid you not! Eight? You may be wondering, but yes, he grew up in a small town outside the big city of Toronto, on a farm. My husband drove a tractor by age eight to help his dad on the farm and began hauling cattle by the age of fourteen, so no surprise he aced his license at sixteen.

At twenty-two, hubby moved to the city and began selling cars, and still does when his health permits him. So it should have been no big deal for him to pass the re-evaluation test, which he did . . . except there was an issue with his vision test – one I wasn’t aware of.

The agent handed him a form asking that it be completed by his eye doctor, filled out after testing him then submitted by fax back to the Ministry to re-instate his license. She told us she would enter the form with the passing grade in the computer system, awaiting the completed eye test confirmation to reinstate his license. Only it wasn’t that simple.

I booked the re-evaluation test with the Ministry several months before his birthday. They were already booked up prior to his birthday and his test was scheduled the day after his birthday so they sent him a temporary extension license until the test, adding a few days grace, expiring May 21st. I made an eye doctor appointment for him for May 17th with Dr. G, hoping to clear up the issue and get on with the license. And ironically, hubby was also scheduled to see the eye specialist, Dr. M, earlier the same day for an appointment that somehow got lost in translation when the eye doctor previously requested that hubby see the specialist back in late November of 2017 when he last had his eyes checked.

We were told the doctor’s office would make the appointment with the specialist’s office and they in turn would notify us. But one thing led to another, Christmas came and went and no call, then hubby fell almost fatally ill again in January, spending lots of time in and out of the hospital til February. The eye appointment went far from my mind by then. After my husband’s miraculous recovery, we decided to go to Mexico for the month of March, and get some well needed R and R.

About a week after arriving home from Mexico in early April, it dawned on me that we never heard back from the specialist’s office. I called the eye doctor’s office to check on the situation. I was told that hubby’s appointment was for two days prior to the day I called. “What??????” I told the secretary that nobody had called us. Fast forward to the new scheduled appointment, May 17th.

Three hours of waiting and three eye tests later that morning, Dr. M (the specialist) informed us that hubby needs to have laser eye surgery in both eyes to repair the crumpled-like lenses implanted three years prior when he had his cataracts removed. He told us he can’t pass hubby until he has the surgery and gets re-tested.

Hubby’s heart sank as he felt his driving freedom was snatched, stolen away by faulty vision. I have my own anxieties with driving that have accumulated with age, and with the over-population of cars on the road littered with bad drivers. I almost lost my sight ten years ago and underwent laser surgery to drill pin holes in my eyes to drain the pressure build-up behind my retinas. That procedure saved me from going completely blind in both eyes but resulted in seeing halos reflecting from the lights of oncoming cars at night on the highways, and worse if it’s raining.

I’d always relied on my husband to drive us wherever we went, and now I had to digest becoming the driver until this matter was resolved – praying it could be resolved. My poor husband’s morale was low, feeling defeated at his loss of freedom to drive to work or anywhere for that matter. I was digesting what possibly was also becoming my new life with obstacles about going to certain places and functions that required long distance driving. But as always, I put my fears aside and focused on lifting my husband’s spirits by telling him this is only temporary, we’ll fix his eyes and I’ll drive him to work and back until we get it solved. It was time for me to put on my big girl pants and give back and pick up the slack.

I did a lot of self-pep talking to get myself brave enough to get on the highway twice a day to transport my hubby to work and back to keep him comfortable and not have to quit his job because of no license. The surgery was booked for my birthday June 7th, and I gasped internally at all the driving I’d be doing until then. But on May 23rd, I decided to take a shot and call the specialist’s office to see if there were any cancellations for the following week’s surgeries to move up the date. To my surprise and elation, they had an opening for Friday May 25th. I asked the secretary how long after the follow up appointment would the surgeon see my husband for follow up. She told me five weeks! Nope, I wasn’t waiting another five weeks for the follow up to sign that form approving clearance to reinstate hubby’s license.

During the surgery (that I of course sat in for), I asked Dr. M when hubby’s vision should improve. He replied by telling me some see better immediately. some take a few days. That info prompted me to call the eye doctor’s office as soon as we returned home from the successful surgery to book him in for the eye test a week after, May 31st. If she checked his eyes and approved his vision, we’d be off to the Ministry of Transportation for his license renewal!

Yayyyyyy! Hubby passed with flying colors. All that needed to be done was for the eye doctor’s office to submit the approved form by fax to the ministry, and us to dash off with glee over to the ministry office the next day to pick up the license. It seemed simple.

We awoke with optimism the next day and headed over to the licensing bureau. After waiting in line for 45 minutes it was finally our turn. But the woman told us there was no copy of the form from the ministry in the system and nothing from the eye doctor. I showed her the copy I had requested from the eye doctor, showing the test results approved. She in turn informed me that wasn’t good enough, it should be in their system. I pleaded my husband’s case to her, going over every step we’d taken with doctors and forms to get to the point where we were, reiterating we were told it would all be in the system and it wasn’t. I then asked if she’d just give him another eye test to prove it. The woman told me to take him about 5 miles north to a driver’s test facility where they could test his eyes again because they didn’t have that machine on their premises. She then told me to come back to her location and get the license.

I shook my head in disbelief at the whole situation, voiced my opinion on how a government ministry couldn’t get their paperwork entered properly and caused all this confusion and running around to get back his license. She apologized and told me when we come back to bypass the line and come directly to her desk.

We motored on to the driver’s test facility where I didn’t take a number but marched right up to the next in line booth to tell my story once again. I was told they no longer did vision tests there and I produced the doctor’s copy of the completed vision test and pleaded with the nice lady to cut us some slack and please make a call to the ministry office where his driver’s test was originally done. I’m sure she felt sorry for us and told us to have a seat and that she was going to make some inquiries as to what was going on.

About 20 minutes later the lady returned wearing a big smile on her face. She informed us that she got a hold of the proper office and his passing form was now in the computer and the doctor’s letter has been acknowledged then she proceeded to direct us back to the service center we’d just come from to go pick up the license. And finally, my husband was given back his license.

Hubby gets back his license back, his eyes are closed with the sun in his face,
but he can see

We were thrilled to bits when my husband held that precious piece of paper in his hands. He felt as though his freedom had been handed back to him, and I, could take off my Taxi hat!

About the author

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self -medicate with a daily dose of humor.

Find and follow D. G. Kaye

Blog/website     Goodreads     Amazon author page     Facebook     Wiseintro

Google+     Instagram     Stumbleupon    Pinterest

Kaye’s latest release – Twenty Years: After “I Do”

Click HERE to look inside  

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

Read Sally Cronin’s review of Twenty Years After ‘I Do’ at Smorgasbord Book Reviews.

 Visit all D.G. Kaye’s books: Amazon Author Page

Conflicted HeartsConflicted Hearts: A Daughter's Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt by [Kaye, D.G.]

A Lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

“Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me.”

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.

Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

Read Stevie Turner’s review of Conflicted Hearts here.

MenoWhat? A MemoirMeno-What? A Memoir: Memorable Moments Of Menopause by [Kaye, D.G.]

“I often found myself drifting from a state of normal in a sudden twist of bitchiness.”

From PMS to menopause to what the hell?

D.G. adds a touch of humor to a tale about a not-so-humorous time. While bidding farewell to her dearly departing estrogen, D.G. struggles to tame her raging hormones of fire, relentless dryness, flooding and droughts and other unflattering symptoms.

Join D.G. on her meno-journey to slay the dragons of menopause as she tries to hold on to her sanity, memory, hair, and so much more!

Read Tina Frisco’s review of Meno-What? here.

Words We CarryWords We Carry: Essays of Obsession and Self-Esteem by [Kaye, D.G.]

I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

Read Judith Barrow’s review of Words We Carry here.

Have Bags, Will TravelHave Bags, Will Travel: Trips and Tales — Memoirs of an Over-Packer by [Kaye, D.G.]

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.
In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?
D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

Read Christoph Fischer’s review of Have Bags Will Travel here.

P.S. I Forgive YouP.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by [Kaye,D.G.]

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

Read Deborah Jay’s review of P.S. I Forgive You here. 


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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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89 Responses to Guest author: D. G. Kaye – Aging and Changes: Maintaining the Privilege to Drive

  1. Adele Marie says:

    Well done to both of you for navigating bureaucracy gone mad. Well done. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I need you to come over to my house when I have to deal with bureaucracy, Debby. It amazes me how you get things done. I’m so glad your husband got his license and is approved to drive again. And I’ll bet his vision is better on the whole, too. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • dgkaye says:

      Aw thanks Diana, but that’s how I roll. I know it’s a little far to hop over to your home, but anytime you need some advice how to handle bureaucracy, don’t hesitate to give me a buzz! Lol And yes, his vision is now better than mine! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. dgkaye says:

    Sue, thank you so much for having me over today. I’m thrilled to be here again. I hope my post inspires some to stay persistent on top of issues – health or otherwise. ❤ xxx Sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats to your hub for retaining his licence. My husband is 60 and has just bought his first pair of varifocal lenses. He hasn’t stopped complaining …

    Liked by 3 people

  5. dgkaye says:

    Thanks Stevie. Oh the joys of getting older 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Holy moly, talk about getting the runaround! So glad it worked out for your hubby, hopefully the next exam goes smoothly!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. noelleg44 says:

    This a really all too human story. I dread the day my license is taken away. Blessings on you both!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I am totally with you, Debby. I hate driving at night and I also rely on Terence to do all long distance driving. I like you can do it I just don’t like driving.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Darlene says:

    Well done!! So pleased it all worked out eventually. My father-in-law, at age 86, has given up his drivers license and my mother-in-law doesn’t drive. I feel it will certainly affect their lives. Fortunately, we are available to give them rides and many things are in walking distance for them.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Aquileana says:

    Great post…. ((That was a whole epic tale… a bit kafkian, I´d say given all the bureaucracy in between). So glad your husband got his driver license, Debby. Hugs, Sue & Deb! 🙂


  11. Tina Frisco says:

    You’re amazing, Deb. You rip through red tape faster than anyone I know. This would make a great theme for the TV show Survivor ~ dealing with bureaucracy instead of the elements. You’d win by a landslide! Glad George is back at the helm and you can relax ❤️

    Lovely feature, Sue, and very generous of you to post reviews to all of Deb’s books. Thanks so much for mentioning my review of Meno-What? ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    What a lot of hoops to jump through, D. Persistance in the face of adversity is definitely your strong suit! Congratulations on your success.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Debby Gies is the guest today of Sue Vincent.. her husband need to renew his driving license at 80….they both deserve a medal for jumping through all the hoops to get it. Debby always entertains and informs with her posts.. #recommended

    Liked by 2 people

  14. That’s a wonderful end to what seemed to be a major Saga! Well done for keeping going and congratulations to your husband.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Reblogged this on DSM Publications and commented:
    Meet guest author D.G. Kaye from this post on Sue Vincent’s blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Jennie says:

    What madness you had to endure! Thank goodness there was a happy ending. Whew!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hooray and well done the two of you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  18. But wait! He doesn’t even wear glasses–at 80! That’s amazing. And another thought. Are you, like me, eagerly awaiting a safe driverless car? I’m putting off purchasing my next and last car until I find one, crossing my fingers that my car lasts that long.

    Liked by 2 people

    • dgkaye says:

      Lol Jacqui, actually he doesn’t need glasses to drive anymore! Just readers for close up reading! And no thanks, I’m fearful enough of those cars coming on the road. Think about how many computer issues companies already have with technology. One wrong faulty glitch and how many lives risked. This is absolutely absurd as far as I’m concerned. I think I’ll get a helicopter when the roads become filled with driverless cars lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I am so glad your husband got his license. Many moons ago I visited Toronto and I would not want to drive in such busy traffic. I did drive further north on quieter roads. Happy Birthday for tomorrow. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Mary Smith says:

    Happy birthday – bet the best gift of all is to throw away your chauffeur’s hat and go back to being a passenger. Well done for being so persistent. I’m sure many people would have given up.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Cheers to you and your hubby, Debby! That’s quite the ordeal to go through. So delighted to hear it all worked out okay. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, Sue, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Carol says:

    Phew…I was frazzled just reading that, Debby..goodness knows how you both coped but well done for not giving up and getting it sorted 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I was prompted to visit you by Sue Vincent who is one of my favourite bloggers. I can hardly imagine the heartache involved in living through that experience or admire the sensibility who went through it more. Clearly both you and your husband are people to admire on several levels 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • dgkaye says:

      Thank you so much Peter for your lovely comment. It seems nowadays getting service becomes a game of jumping hoops. I’ve had to learn persistence and thankfully it’s paid off. 🙂


  24. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Coming Soon – The Travel Column by Debby Gies – And #Happy Birthday | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  25. olganm says:

    My goodness, Debby! I know it pays to be persistent, but some systems seem to be designed to drive people insane. Well done and thanks for sharing, Sue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • dgkaye says:

      Thanks Olga. Yes, I believe so many issues abound these days just to get something done. If we don’t attempt to conquer we get left behind. I can only imagine how seniors get through this stuff without any aid of a pushy supporter. 🙂 xx


  26. Talk about making you and hubby jump through all those hoops, but glad it was all sorted out, Debby. We get the same sorts of problems with documents not being where they should be despite all the promises. I can hear the whole system creaking with the overburden and lack of funding put on it. Here we are in the 21st century, and stuff like this still happens. Grr!
    Happy Birthday for last Thursday, and congratulations to hubby on the milestone birthday. I hope there was some cake involved? 🎂
    Hugs to you both

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Pingback: Reinstating your driver's license for seniors can be tricky business

  28. Jane Sturgeon says:

    Perseverance pays off. ❤ Happy Birthday to Gordon on his milestone and 'hats off' for maintaining his licence. No glasses….impressive. Lovely Sue for the invitation. More hugs for you both ❤ Xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Yay, for hubby and for you, who often have to put on your big girl pants on his behalf. My mother drove until she was 96; I hope to be able to do the same . . . and beyond, if I live that long! lol

    Liked by 2 people

  30. joylennick says:

    Thanks Sue and Debby. All-s well and all that…Im indoors and I spent 18 months living and working in Toronto in 1957… and your piece brought back fun memories of when my husband became a driving instructor in Toronto.He was allowed only one error! The question he was unsure of was HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A PERSON TO BRAKE. He answered incorrectly as he thought it depended on the alacrity of the person driving. He passed nevertheless.Hope your husband drives for many more years Debby. Mine-still does, and he-s 90 in July!! His brain, fortunately, is still as sharp as a honed knife. He-s 40 mentally…We live in Spain and bureaucracy has-n-t caught up with him yet…**Forgive obvious errors. My laptop was reconfigured yesterday and is still not its old self..(.Give my love to your lively city!

    Liked by 2 people

    • dgkaye says:

      Wow Joy, thanks for sharing those lovely tidbits about living in Toronto, and your hubby, God bless. My husband too has a memory sharp as a tack, which is coming in handy for me since menopause has given me many meno moments, LOL. 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  31. hilarymb says:

    Hi Debby – Just glad all is sorted for you both … a rigmarole to get there – but finally achieved and you can both enjoy the summer … take care and really good to read – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  32. amreade says:

    I’m so happy for both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Such an excellent read, Debbie. I’m glad your husband got his liscence; when it comes to bureaucracies, persistence pays off.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Colleen Chesebro says:

    Thank goodness this all worked out for your amazing husband. I’m relieved. You and I have had plenty of discussions about this craziness. Blessed be! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  35. marianbeaman says:

    I enjoyed the backstory here, Debby, and read some things I missed on the first read when I concentrated on the bureaucracy. Thanks, Sue, for featuring a colorful author, my friend! (Yes, I’ve read and reviewed 20 Years After I Do,)

    Liked by 1 person

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