It had always been Mom’s dream to visit PEI since the days she used to sail closeby with her New Brunswick boyfriend when she was young. So when Mom was on a respirator in ICU for the umpteenth time because of her COPD, I promised her that when she came out of hospital that summer I would take her and Dad to a PEI resort. She was so happy.
Dad was too. Repeating over and over, when are we going to the beach? When are we going to the beach? You see, Dad’s cognitive abilities were being comprised, a result of Alzheimer’s.
Our flight was delayed because the oxygen I had ordered for the plane did not arrive. Seven hours in the airport with a recovering Mom an and an impatient Dad do not a good day make. Nevertheless, we arrived at Charlottetown airport late in the evening after two plane rides.
I drove our rental car to Dalvay-By-The-Sea, checked in and was given the key to the last room available, Room #13. Right then and there I should have known we were in for trouble.
No elevator, so I dragged two suitcases up a long flight of stairs, and opened the door to our room with a view. It was dark so you couldn’t really see the ocean but I knew it was out there. Mom and I flopped our tired bodies down on the bed. Dad on the other hand was agitated. He looked out the window and his voice raised, exclaimed “I’m seventy-three years old and I’ve never seen this place before!” Then he began pounding on the thin walls. My Mom and I looked at each other in desperation, knowing then and there we could not stay, so we closed the tops of our unpacked suitcases and left the hotel.
Luckily the airline was able to accommodate me with a compassionate return flight. All the way home, poor Dad would look at us and ask “When are we going to the beach? When are we going to the beach?” A tear ran down Mom’s cheek.