Grandma’s Cadillac

As a teen-ager, I longed to drive, but because of my visual impairment, I never could. When I was in high school, my grandmother bought a new car, a two-door maroon Cadillac with plush seats and a cool stereo system. It also had power steering, but of course I could never take advantage of that.

Last year, I wrote a poem about this car and how it served Grandma and me through the years. It was recently published in Serendipity Poets Journal and is pasted below for your enjoyment.

 

Maroon Dream

 

 

As a teen-ager, I loved Grandma’s maroon Cadillac,

its soft, red velvet seats,

automatic windows, stereo speakers,

longed to take the wheel,

cruise up and down Main Street, radio blasting,

have fun fun fun till my granny took the caddy away.

 

I could never hold the wheel,

put the pedal to the medal.

With eyes that only saw objects and people up close in color,

I could only sit in the passenger seat

while Grandma negotiated the roads,

as we drove to the movies

or to the park for ice cream.

 

Through the years,

Grandma’s driving became more cautious, less certain.

Eventually, she sat in the passenger seat, said nothing

while I rode in back—

Dad drove us to restaurants or the theater.

 

When Grandma left this world,

her car and other possessions were sold.

Someone else drives her maroon Cadillac,

lucky to have such a car.

 

What do you remember about learning to drive? Did your father teach you, or did you take a drivers’ education class in high school? When my younger brother was a teen-ager, my mother encouraged him to fix up our old Mercedes Benz so he could drive it, but he wasn’t interested. Did you ever fix up an old car so you could drive it? If visually impaired like me, who drove you to school or other activities? Please share your memories below, and happy driving, but if you’re visually impaired, let me know when you plan to be on the road.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

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4 thoughts on “Grandma’s Cadillac

  1. Abbie, I enjoy your sense of humor.
    I wrote a poem about my first car. I compared it to a woman. I’ll post it one day.
    I learned to drive on a tractor when I was six years old. Later I graduated to the family pickup and when, at fifteen, my father watched me maneuver deeply rutted muddy roads, he gave permission to get my drivers license early.
    I always thought I was a good driver until I married. Barry hated to ride with me driving. He insisted he be behind the wheel.

    • Hi Glenda, thank you for sharing your memories. Although Bill had limited vision when he was a kid, his father trusted him enough to let him drive the tractor on the farm. It’s a wonder he didn’t run over any livestock in the process.

  2. I had always thought that after losing my vision, I would surely miss the heck out of being able to drive, especially seeing as how I used to drive up to 2,000 miles a week, but so far, I have not had the hankerings to drive yet, even though it has been almost three years. I suppose in time, those cravings will return, but for now, I do fine just sitting back and trying to figure out where we are driving to and from.

    There really isn’t too many feelings of freedom that driving gives the mind and soul. It is an incredible outlet of expression that rivals all other kinds.

    Great post.

    Deon

    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    Vivian Green

    _____

    • Hello Deon, I’m actually glad to hear you were never interested in driving after you lost your vision. Some people who lose their eyesight later in life still want to drive, and it can be tough convincing them they’re no longer able to do so. Take care, and stay off the road. Smile.

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