My friend Jim said to me years ago “Mark, good ideas are a dime a dozen. The difference between a good idea and it’s fruition and practice, involves a huge amount of work, blood, sweat and tears, plenty of failures and a willingness to not give up”. I have had plenty of great ideas since that time and a few of them have actually manifested into something meaningful. I have also had other good ideas that I did nothing with, or realized that someone else had dreamed up and run with them. This past week I had an experience where I got to see that one of my ideas had come to life. I can honestly say I’m not sure whether someone had the idea independent of me or if, somehow in the ether of the unconscious mind, I sent it to them. Either way, Go-Go Grandparent is now a reality.
It was a Friday and as I headed home to my place in north west Arvada, I got a ping that identifies itself as Go-Go-Grandparent. Soon after that I accepted the ride and got a text through the third-party Lyft text line that said, “You will be picking up Margie if you like, she has some mobility issues and if you want to deny this ride, feel free”. Signed—Go-Go- Grandparent. I thought to myself, “Who the heck is ‘Go-Go- Grandparent”? I headed off to a local Walmart where I saw a sweet little old, late-80’s grandma type standing out on the curb with her shopping bags, holding onto a phone – it was a dead giveaway. I pulled up and asked her “if she was Margie”? and she said “ Yes, are you Mark”? I loaded all of her five bags in the back and she got in the front seat and we headed off to her destination.
The first thing I asked her was “What the heck is Go-Go-Grandparent ”? She told me that her kids had gotten it for her, as she had recently sold her home of 45 years and moved into an independent living center off of 64th. I knew exactly where she lived because a dear friend of mine who is now 101, lives there. She explained to me that Go-Go-Grandparent is a third- party broker who arranges Lyft rides for seniors without smart phones. All they have to do is call the number and give the address of where they are and the Lyft ride is arranged. Now we come to the part where I had that idea about 2 1/2 years ago.
We began a lovely conversation about the shift in life that takes place when you have to let go of one home and try to build a life for yourself in another one. She was a very engaging and thoughtful woman and
reminded me of the best of those people who were born during the Depression and have walked across the last century. She told me that she loves living in this new place because she doesn’t have to worry about all the things that used to trouble her when she lived alone. She also told me that the mobility that comes by using Go-Go-Grandparent makes her feel free and not a bother to anyone.
We covered a lot of ground in our conversation and in no time at all I was helping to unload her cache of Walmart necessities under her walker, which was parked neatly by the door. She reached out to hug me and I joyfully received it and then she handed me four one dollar bills. I said “What the heck is that”? She said “Well that’s your tip, Mark.” I knew it was important that I take it and I told her that it would go into my personal travel fund, and that I had just returned from a most wonderful 12-day trip with my son and grandson, and that she was helping to pay for the next one. She looked at me and said “I can’t think of a better way to use your money”.
I am really glad that whoever thought of Go-Go-Grandparent is providing this opportunity, not just for senior citizens with mobility issues, but for this Lyft driver who misses so much his own Mom and Dad. And on this particular ride, Margie was a delightful substitute.
Happy Father’s Day🤠 Onward and upward,