Alma, Judy’s mother-in-law, was seventy-two years old and dying of lung cancer. She had been staying with Judy, her daughter-in-law, and her son, Jim, for the past four months. Alma’s vocabulary could make a sailor blush. If she didn’t care for you, you would know it.
Judy was in the kitchen, cooking up breakfast. Subtle aromas of bacon and coffee made their way through the living room and were inhaled by Alma’s sensitive proboscis. She automatically breathed deeper and her tongue started licking her lips. Her eyes opened as she yelled, “Judaaayyy! That sure does smell good! I’m hungry!”
“And a good morning to you too, Alma.” Judy was thinking. “I love this woman, I love this woman, I love this woman.” She repeated those words over and over so as to quell all angry emotions from rising inside her. Judy was a Christian woman, but her nerves could get frazzled from Alma’s constant bad humor.
“A person could starve to death here!” Alma coughed out the words just as Judy brought her breakfast.
“Here you are dearie. Do you need any…”
“I want to renew my driver’s license today!” Alma cut off Judy in mid-sentence and smiled up at her like a child on her birthday.
“My license expires in three days. I need to renew it.”
“But Alma, you are not driving right now and…”
“I’m not dead yet and it’s my right! You will take me up there today and I will renew it!”
Judy knew better than to argue with this old woman sitting before her, frail but very cocky. Alma was staring, glaring at Judy, waiting for a response. She knew that if she wanted peace in her house, that a trip to the DMV office was a necessity.
“Okay, Alma. Would you like to go after you finish your breakfast? The early bird gets the worm.”
“Yeah, yeah. Okay.” Alma coughed out.
Alma walked into the DMV, supporting herself on her walker. She was wearing her pajamas and a robe, her oxygen bottle slung over her shoulder. The ninety-pound woman slowly made her way up to the counter, coughing and hacking as she progressed.
“Good morning, ma’am.” The man behind the counter was smiling as he greeted Alma.
“I want to renew my license.” Alma held out her old driver’s license to the gentleman behind the counter.
“Very well, I just need to ask you a few questions. Is this your legal name here on the license?”
“Is this your correct address?”
“Yes. That is my permanent home address.” Alma was coughing loudly and wheezing.
“Do you have any physical disabilities or handicaps that would impair you from operating a motor vehicle safely?”
Alma, standing there at the counter, dressed in her PJs and house robe, holding herself up with her walker, breathing her oxygen and wheezing and coughing, smiled at the man behind the counter and replied, “Of course not!.”
“This will take about ten minutes ma’am. You can sit right there if you wish.”
Judy watched in amazement as the Illinois civil servant smiled back and proceeded to issue Alma her new driver’s license.
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