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