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Why I Drive Ms.Shirley

(a picture of Gammy and my dog Oliver on one of our drives)

It is rare to recognize life-changing moments while you are living them. Days that begin mundane could end with a special place in your heart. I believe we can transform regular days into lifetime memories.

(Image courtesy of Wix)

In 2021, we are constantly exposed to outside pressures. We hear news about the delta variant, political unrest, or societal movements. In an attempt to unwind, we bury ourselves in our phones or social media accounts.

(Image courtesy of Wix)

We want to show people how we are making the most of our time. We showcase how we are invited to the latest event, traveled to the hippest city, or showing how after 2020, we are making up for the lost time.

(Image courtesy of Rhimes Shonda (writer), Clack Zoanne (writer) & Stanzler Wendy (Director). (October 16, 2005). Deny, Deny, Deny (Season 2 , Episode 4) (TV series episode). In Shonda Rhimes (Creator), Grey's Anatomy; Shondaland, The Mark Gordon Company, Touchstone Television (2005-2007), ABC Signature (2007-present.)

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I watched Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. In Greys Anatomy, Dr. Ellis Grey told her daughter Meredith the following,” The carousel keeps spinning.” Ellis wants Meredith to understand that Meredith’s current problems will seem trivial as time passes. She doesn’t want her daughter to worry about what society wants her to accomplish, instead to acknowledge that time is finite and it’s in your power to use it how best you see fit.

(A picture of my latest trip to Chicago where Oliver and I went to visit Gammy. We went to Old Orchard and took this picture during a break from shopping)

At 24, I have only one living grandparent left: my Gammy Shirley Cohen. At 85, Gammy has lived through the life-changing events of the last century. Gammy is a snowbird. As a snowbird, she lives in Chicago during the summer and South Florida in the winter. Since beginning graduate school at UNC, I realized how I might not have as many one-on-one bonding opportunities as I would like with my grandma. I want to be able to tell stories about adult memories I have with my grandmother.

( A picture of Gammy at Kelly's Landing Restaurant. Gammy is eating the calm chowder and onion rings).

When I graduated college, I took a gap year. During this gap year, I accomplished a lot. I had the opportunity to become a dog owner, apply and be accepted into UNC Hussman, and drive my grandmother around town. I would pick up my grandmother and we would drive to breakfast or look at the architecture around her house. I had the chance to not only transport her out of her house but also be transported into different place and time periods as she told me her stories.

(Image from Splash media)

As I enter my mid-twenties, I am told that time begins to speed around me. Moments that seem stressful or life-changing will become nostalgic or funny memories. I will heed Ellis's words and make the most of my time on the carousel.


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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