New car ‘changed my life’ says 93-year-old
|By Alex Coop - Staff Writer | August 4, 2016|
There is nothing on Earth that can keep Horseshoe Lake resident Mabel Brannigan still.
Not even the number 93.
“I’ve always been very independent and didn’t listen to others,” the Second World War veteran said with a smile during an interview at her home.
A plaque not far away describes Brannigan as a “Woman ahead of her time.”
It was given to her by the Minden Legion Mabel D. Brannigan Branch 636 last January.
Mabel’s accomplishments have wowed family and friends her entire life so she couldn’t help but do it again this summer by successfully renewing her driver’s license and buying a new car.
Her children couldn’t believe it, she laughed, when they found out about her new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.
“I called them one day, and said, ‘Oh, I forgot to tell you that I got a new car the other day’ and they said ‘A new car? Are you crazy?’ I told them I wasn’t.”
After suffering a knee injury three years ago, Brannigan had to give up driving for a while. She relied on friends and family to get around.
But being the determined woman she is, she became increasingly frustrated to have to rely on others.
“I was making a sandwich one day, and I was missing some ingredients but I couldn’t just get up and drive to the store, so I said ‘that’s it, I’m getting a car,’” Brannigan said.
She called her son (who luckily works at Curry Chevrolet Buick GMC in Haliburton) and together they went car shopping.
Brannigan’s eyes lit up when she saw the blue Cruze.
“I didn’t ask any questions about the engine or anything. I was drawn to the beauty,” she said.
Living more than 10 km from Minden, without a car for almost three years renewed her passion for travel and volunteer work.
Judging by the stack of certificates and awards on a table (Brannigan was rearranging some stored items) she does a lot of volunteer work.
Don’t let others tell you what to do, she stressed, adding age is just a number.
“Some people want you to believe that you are too tired, that you need to be in a retirement home and that you need to pack it in … don’t be afraid to say no!”
ALEX COOP is a reporter for The Highlander.