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Old 01-26-2014, 02:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
Land Ark
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I didn't know where else to put this, so I'm putting it here. It's sort of a what-would-you-do. Sorry, it's horrifically long.

My step father is in his early 70s and it concerns me that he is still driving. He owns a 2009 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner 4-door with less than 13k miles on it. It's a fantastic truck, and I hope(d) to one day inherit it. However, I am worried that I'll never see that day as I fear it will be destroyed.

The man in question is the smartest man I have ever met. He's been married to my mom since I was 4 years old and I grew up calling him "dad." He went to VMI and went on to fight in Vietnam as a tank captain in the army. He was wounded by shrapnel and finished out his tour. He is very proud of his school and his time in the military, he's a very proud man in general. But what he is most proud of, and what his legacy will be, is his 30 years teaching high school English. Growing up in our small town, we could never go anywhere without someone stopping to talk to him about how he was their favorite teacher and how he changed their life for the better. He was a living legend while he taught, both my sister and I had him our senior years. All of my friends were dumbfounded whenever they came to my house knowing I lived with him. When he retired, they named his classroom and the adjacent hallway after him. Ten years after that two of his former students donated $700k in his name to the school.

The problems began shortly after he retired. He started having problems and wound up in the hospital. He's been in ad out of the hospital many times. He has severe diabetes and he doesn't take care of it so it is out of control and badly affecting his cognitive abilities. It's really tragic, but in a way that angers me since it doesn't have to be this way.

Recently, after he got the truck stuck in their back yard trying to drive around the house instead of asking someone to move their car - or taking that car - I decided I need to get the truck away from him before he destroys it. I planned to buy him something that would, in essence, be a sacrificial car to let him do the inevitable. My mother and he were both apparently on board. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do it. I don't really want more payments (they still owe and I would take over the payments) and I figure they have insurance for it, so they'd get their money back at least. But then there's the concerns for others. I definitely don't want him to mindlessly slam it into someone and kill them. And, in fact, just a few days ago, a week after I gave up on getting the truck, he hit someone's car with it and didn't realize it until the police showed up at his house.

We're a close family (I live the farthest away - my mother and sister spend a lot of time at each others houses) and no one wants to step up to do anything to keep him off the road. I would do it, but I don't think I would get the support from the others necessary to follow through and since I am not around, he'd just get behind the wheel and no one else would try to stop him. He is incredibly stubborn and does exactly what he shouldn't do just to spite us.

So I ask the B&B, what would you do?
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