I was happy I’d postponed the road trip with my 90-year-old mother-in-law which lowered her dementia-born anxiety. Her caregiver daughter was appreciative of the extra day to educate me on the respite I’d provide while she recovered from her recently discovered upcoming surgery. I opted for the 4:45 p.m. sailing, July 13, which would allow my mother-in-law time for her morning cuppa. “Ferries should be fine. It’s midweek.” I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We made great time. No accidents, unlike the time a truck flipped causing a delay. Ferry reservation? Too bad. This day, I arrived well ahead of time. We didn’t make it to the ticket booth. Instead, we sat up the roadway hill in the hot sun. No eatery. We had water. No nearby washrooms. My mother-in-law has a seasoned 90-year-old bladder.
When ticket sales opened I realize now that it wasn’t enough to have the handicapped parking decal visible and say, “One adult and an overheated 90 year old” because we were left up the hill with no accessible facilities nearby. I knew of the landslide, but there wasn’t even a porta potty. I checked that all the car windows were open, left my elderly mother-in-law with her book, and went for takeout.
By boarding time, I called to a worker, “Can you make sure we are near an elevator? My mother-in-law is 90.” He replied,” You should have arrived earlier.” What?! Reservations were sold out. “We’ve been here for hours!”
After we docked at Langdale, a couple in an antique convertible gained priority off-loading. As the car drove into the sunset, I looked at my stoic mother-in-law and thought that old cars seem to matter more than old people.
Phyllis Dyson, Sechelt