Giving Up The Key Because I Couldn't See

Traveling back through your life’s timeline is easy – thanks to “Facebook memories”. Scrolling through the pictures and posts is fun and it allows you to reminisce about the good times. But, what about the not so good times? Facebook serves those up too.

Four years ago today, I wrote a post talking about how I took the key to my car off of my keyring. I didn’t need it. I couldn’t drive my car anymore. Why have it on there as a constant reminder of how my life used to be? I mean, why was I doing that to myself? I needed to move on, so… I took the key off.

Besides the Autopia putt-putt race car at Disneyland, I have not driven any vehicle in four years!!! People say “Wow, it must be so hard not being able to drive.”. Yeah, you have no idea. It’s really hard and you can’t possibly know what it’s like unless you’re in similar shoes. You have no idea what it’s like to lose the ability to hop in the driver’s seat, crank up the radio, put the pedal to the metal and go! Go rockin’ down the highway! There’s no driving friends or family where they need to go. There’s no picking up friends or family from where ever they are. I think you get the idea. It’s hard losing that freedom and independence I once had.

I feel the only way people can relate to the position that I am now in (and many others I know), is to put away your car keys for a week, and see how it affects your daily life. That would be a week of what I live EVERY day (since 11/4/2013). Think about what errands you normally have to do – grocery store, bank, pharmacy, dry cleaner, office supply, etc. Think about where you and/or your kids have to go – school, day care, work, meetings gym, sports games and practices, medical appts., etc. And remember…You can’t drive the car that is sitting in your driveway. Kinda overwhelming, isn’t it?!? 

Here is the post I wrote on this day in 2013. The day I finally took my car key off of my keyring. Was it upsetting? Did I cry as I handed it over? Hell. yes!! Thanks for the memories FB!

My Facebook post

Image is Photo of my car key“I can no longer drive and I never will again because of my vision loss. Having my driving ability, and the freedom and independence that comes with it, taken away from me is devastating. This loss has been one of the hardest things to accept. I still haven’t fully accepted it, but I think letting go of the key is a step in the right direction. It’s hard to ask for help, especially for transportation, but I don’t have much choice anymore. I am forever thankful for all the friends and family who now drive me (and my kids), where we need to go.”. – Posted 11/22/2013

Through the last couple of years, I have learned to use the MTS paratransit bus, Uber or Lyft if necessary, and most importantly, I have learned that asking for a ride is not a bad thing. It’s just my thing. xx



5 Comments on “Giving Up The Key Because I Couldn't See

  1. Well said, Maria, as always! And remember that I absolutely love driving you around. Why don’t you ask more often, now that I’m a retired lady?!

    Love you tons!


  2. Maria. you now have the added responsibility to help Nate navigate the new real………he is so very lucky to have you as I seriously doubt there is a better person to lead him through what you not that long ago, plowed through… are all that I have said, you are amazing and my heart breaks for Nate and hope and Doug….it is unbelievably hideous


  3. Maria, I m way up here in LA but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you and Chris and Bryce and Molly and how unbelievably LHON has impacted your lives!!! Of course yours most of all.
    I had 5 weeks when I got my new knee
    And with no driving for 5 weeks I got a taste of the loss of independence that came to you when you gave up your keys. It is unimaginable to the rest of us, yet you plow on bravely figuring it out! You are one Amazing “Bad Ass” daughter in law!
    (It’s a compliment)


  4. Maria, this brings it all back. I can remember this time so clearly and how helpless I felt. I couldn’t do a thing to make your pain less. I just think of how incredibly brave you are everyday. Because you take life by the horns and live it
    Love you friend.


  5. Love and blessings to you my friend. Happy Thanksgiving a few days late. You are so brave and so positive. That will get you where you are going. Love to you and yours!!!


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