I did it!


11+ years ago I left Washington state,  I drove the Alcan…by myself and arrived in Alaska.  I moved to the bush, Nunam Iqua.  Nunam is a village on the mouth of the Yukon with a population of approximately 200.

It is not on the road system,  there are boardwalks throughout.  To travel anywhere you go by boat, snowmobile or 4-wheeler. You do not need a drivers license to operate those.

Fast forward 5 years and I was married,  Cecelia was nearly 2. I was pregnant with Glenna.  We spent the summer in Bristol Bay fishing and I taught Segundo how to drive….a stick shift, nonetheless!

Then Segundo had his heart attack and died. I was in pure survival mode. Cecelia was showing the first signs of autism.  Glenna was born.  I got sucked into an abusive relationship. ..and escaped. We moved here to Kenai.

I got us out of the shelter,  Cecelia receiving services and I got a great job. I set goals and keep making them happen.

These passed 4+ years here in Kenai we’ve walked, biked or taken an occasional cab to get anywhere. I set a goal of getting my license but never seemed to be able to make it happen.

Little did I know that there was good reason why I couldn’t follow through.  My work said they’d pay for me to do some practice driving and take my test. I’d get the forms to fill out and they’d “accidentally” get coffee spilled on them. Or Cecelia would color them. Or I’d lose them.

I’d blow it off…make excuses. ..etc. a few months ago I couldn’t sleep.  I was lying in bed thinking about this year’s goals I’d set. Getting my license and a vehicle were at the top.

As I laid there thinking I had a total panic attack and flashback of when Segundo died. Every breathe I took was a breathe I’d given him doing CPR.  I remembered the chest compressions,  the sounds, the smells. I laid there for what seemed like hours reliving the night he died while in fact it was mere minutes.

Frozen, hyperventilating,  sweating gave way to heartbreaking sobs as I slowly,  painfully broke free of the flashback.

Now I could finally see why I hadn’t been able to follow through.  My mind was connecting teaching Segundo to drive that summer with me driving again. …getting my license. 

I’ve had a few more of these flashbacks since then. Always lying in bed, dreaming of the future and thinking about goals.

I’m not afraid of driving. I want nothing more than to experience the freedom having my own vehicle would bring. But I couldn’t follow through.

I started pushing myself.  I took the online practice written tests.  I even made outside the DMV but couldn’t bring myself to walk in.

Finally last week I made myself call the driving academy.  I left a message Thursday afternoon. ..I was nervous as hell.

Friday while I was on my lunch break he called back. He said he could fit me in today, September 22nd. He asked if I could pass my written exam by then. I said sure!

Monday I went and took the written and passed. Today he picked me up and I drove to Soldotna.  It’d been 4 and a half years since I’d been behind the wheel of a car.

He directed, I did what he asked. I practiced for 45 minutes and then I parked at Fred Meyers.  We talked, he said now I’d do a practice test, including parallel parking.  Asked if I had any questions. After the practice he’d critique and offer advice then I’d do the test.

Off I drove, he directed.  I navigated around Soldotna,  survived roundabouts and even parallel parked.  He instructed me to return to Fred Meyers.  I parked and he said “congratulations! You passed! ”

He’d helped me relax by saying it was a practice test! I’d done it. I started crying and shared with him why I was so emotional. 

I did it!!! 11+ years later I’m now a licensed driver again! I was surprised how easy it was to be behind the wheel again! 

Next week when we get our dividends I’m going to buy a truck! The girls don’t know any of this yet.  I’m going to wait and surprise them!

I did it!!!!!!!!!! Life. Is. AWESOME!!!!


About annstrongheart

About me...hmmm where to start. I'm a proud single/widowed mom of two beautiful girls who currently works full time for the local Tribe. Life. Is. AWESOME!
This entry was posted in Ann Strongheart, autism, Death, family, widowhood. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I did it!

  1. wotsbooks says:

    What a sad but heart warming story. Congratulations 🙂

  2. ksbeth says:

    you are an amazing inspiration to all of us. congrats – beth

  3. Wonderful! You are awesome! I’m so happy for you!

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