Dad's Worst Cruise

Dad's Worst Cruise


In early 2000, my mom called us very early on a Sunday morning to frantically tell us that dad was in the hospital. He had become delusional and confused due to an infection and diabetes. I told her we would be there as soon as we could.

I tried to get us two emergency tickets from American Airlines and was told the best they could do was one ticket for $1700 and the flight was at 7:00 PM. They could get us two tickets for the next day at 10:00 AM for $600 each. I figured we could drive and be in the Orlando area by noon the next day, with an overnight along the gulf coast. We were able to get on the road by 9:00 AM and drove until about 7:00 PM, by which time we had reached Gulfport, MS. As I had calculated, we made Leesburg, FL about 12:45 PM the next day probably earlier than if we had flown.

Mom was really happy to see us and we headed over to the hospital after settling in at her place. She told us that dad was much better, but they would be keeping him for a couple of days to ensure that the infection in his system was cleaned up. When we got to the hospital, I went in to see him as a surprise since he had no idea we were coming.

He was sitting in a hospital chair next to the bed and they had him strapped in because as we discovered later, he was prone to wander. I said, "Hi, Dad! How are you feeling today?" He responded, "John! I didn't know you were here. I'm feeling pretty good, but this is the worst cruise I have ever been on!" Humoring him, I replied; "Why is that?" His answer; "Well, they strap you in to the deck chair and just leave you!" 

I understood his frustration with being strapped in, but could not figure out why he thought he was on a cruise. I told him that I would speak to the deck hands and see what could be done and he thanked me.

While I was sitting there, I glanced up at the wall across from where he was sitting and began to chuckle. There on the wall was a large framed picture of a sailing ship in the middle of the ocean.

He came home a couple of days later and was fine, but did not remember the incident, though he laughed about it when told. I think he really did have a subconscious memory of it!

Davdan @ 2008-2018