Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Old John Deere




I am the main care giver for my elderly father.


My observation from this is that old age can, at times, be a frightening journey along a path of pain, depression and great loss.


This past winter was particularly hard on Dad as the doctor finally took his driver's licence away.

His anger enveloped the small house for months.




***



Dad has an old John Deere lawn mower.

It didn't work at all for much of last summer and by rights it should have gone to the junkyard a long time ago.


Yesterday I was puttering around in the garden, worrying about the overgrown state of things and the damage to the barn caused by the violent wind storm we had in April.

I was wondering how we were going to manage this summer when Dad limp/hobbled onto the porch and told me he was going to look at the lawn mower.


"Okay," I said, then thought, "Like that old rust bucket is going to start after sitting all winter."


I braced myself for another major meltdown.


A few minutes later the garage door flew open and my 87½ year old father came rumbling down the driveway on his John Deere, which, unbelievably, cut the grass as if it had rolled off the assembly line yesterday.





The moral of this story is this:


 You can take away a man's health,

 his friends and his driver's licence

but

as long as there's a breath in his body





you'll never get his old John Deere.












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4 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

When my father had to give up his drivers licence (in his early 70s), he was hurt and angry too. Who wouldn't be? It's a scary loss of independence. But we discussed that he was SO MUCH MORE than just his drivers licence. Its absence did not mean that he as a person now had no value. Amazingly, that did the trick. It gave him a new way of framing how he was looking at himself and he made the adjustment and was fine. He surprised me.

The Episcopagan said...

I'm so glad that he adjusted so well, Debra. I watched Dad go thru the 5 stages of grief. It was a rocky road for him but he seems to have reached acceptance - of course the coming of summer and being able to get on the old John Deere helped!

Doug Jamieson said...

Those John Deeres are tough, just like the guys that own them. Seeing your Dad on that thing, I'm wondering how long it'll be before he's driving it into town.

The Episcopagan said...

Ha ha - something else to worry about. Every time I drive by the Legion now I'll be checking the parking lot!