When my grandfather passed away, my grandmother questioned how she would get around.

My grandparents were immigrants from Lima, Peru and moved to the United States in the 40s.

My grandfather told her she would never need to get a driver’s license in the United States because he would always drive her.

After many years of being driven around town, my grandmother said she started to think about driving herself. She longed for the freedom to drive to the market on her own or to take her kids where they needed to go.

As my parents and uncles discussed who would drive grandma around, now that Pepe was gone, I took my grandmother in the car and drove her to the big parking lot at the abandoned Hanoians supermarket.

I asked her if she still wanted to learn to drive. She was 78 years old.

She smiled at me.

We switched seats and I passed her the keys. She enjoyed cruising slowly around the parking lot.

While everyone else was worried about who would take care of her — she knew. She could take care of herself if she had the support.

Ultimately, my grandmother made the choice not to get her driver’s license.

But this time, she was able to decide for herself.

It’s A Commerical — But It Means More

Most of us have had that one person who helped us learn how to drive. They believed in us, despite the possibility that we might just crash their car.

In this new Coca-Cola ad, that theme plays out while celebrating women in Saudi Arabia who will soon be allowed to drive in that country.

Until now, the country’s laws have forbidden them from being behind the wheel.

I know. I know it’s just a commercial and it’s for Coca-Cola.

However, doesn’t it remind you of that experience you shared with the person who sat in the passenger’s seat?

Saudi women will now have those memories, too.

And, they will get to make their own choice about driving; just like my grandma.

 

(Roe Borunda is an associate producer for GV Wire. You can contact her via Twitter, @roetography, and on Facebook)

 

 

 

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