Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Travels with my Mother

I accompanied my Mom to Florida. In the beginning, my sister was going to fly down with her out of Louisville on Southwest because it was a direct flight to Tampa. But nooooooooo. Mom wanted to use her frequent flyer miles and so it was to be that I go to Lex and take to the skies with Delta as Mom's side kick.

It began innocently enough with our flight leaving at 715am. Still sipping coffee at 635am she announces that we should leave in six minutes. (I have no idea why six minutes was used, not five, not three...but six minutes). The airport is a mere 10 minutes away and so I did not think much of it.

I drop her off at the front and then, glancing at the clock and seeing it is now approximately 645, I step on it to find a parking place in long term parking. As I enter the lot I see it is packed!! WTH is going on? Why are there so many cars in this damn lot!! Where are all these people going? Why are they making my life complicated!

I finally find a spot on three floors up, against the far wall in front of a trash can, obviously a spot rejected many times before but there is no time for being choosy...it is now about five till seven.

I grab my suitcase, which I need to check and take off running. I have not checked in yet!!

As I hit the lobby and run towards the check in counter a young clerk reaches for my baggage and throws it on the scale and tags it in one grand swoop. The lady says, "Are you Mary?" as she hands off my ticket as if we are in a relay race in Beijing "Hurry, they are boarding!" she advises me and points towards the security line, which mercifully is empty except for a bored looking officer who makes me take my sandals off and then I have to return to take off my watch, and then I glance at the clock and it's now after 7am!

I'm in a cold sweat thinking I may miss the plane if they will not allow me to board!

I run up the moving escalator and round the corner to the gate at a fast clip, my purse and carry on bumping furiously against my thigh and I am on the move with my ticket clutched in my outstretched hand.

I pass a steward, "Your Mama is waiting for you" and he points to a wheel chair that is sitting in wait for boarding on the plane. "Hello dear, you made it! I was beginning to get worried!" she says as she clutches her carry on to her chest and has the death grip on her cane.

We are loaded immediately and I breath a sigh of relief except I only have my boarding pass, she has put hers somewhere in her luggage and is unable to lay a hand on it. I put her in my seat and head to the back of the plane and tell the attendant my take of woe. After everyone is seated (the plane is packed and not an extra seat anywhere, except my Mom's) I am seated in a row of three seats with a handsome couple from Bermuda with an 11 month old daughter, who slept from the moment her mother returned from the bathroom till we landed in Atlanta. And then she still was asleep as we left the plane!

At Atlanta they were waiting for Mom with a new fangled wheel chair! Race car Red and with fancy brakes that were applied the moment you took your hands off the back.

Of course all my worries were for nothing. Mom was treated like royalty with wheel chairs waiting for her at each leg of the trip down and back. On the last hop to Lex from Cincinnati we had to board the plane from the tarmac.

This was not a problem for the airline, as they rolled out a lift and Mom was raised to the door as I watched from the ground, with a worried expression on my face! But, I should not have worked myself up because she was treated with such respect and so gently that I was pleasantly surprised and very appreciative.

We boarded first, left last, got to sit up in the front section on most flights and they even let Mom have double treats!

I have to travel with her more often!


Tressa Bailey said...

I am so glad that your mother was treated so wonderfully. Enjoy your time with her!

gigi said...

Travels with your Mom sound a lot like those with mine ~ somewhat like being the personal assistant to an impish diva; a little bit fraught, a whole lot frazzled, and yet inevitably rewarding and full of surprises.

A woman stopped me once in a store while I was shopping with Mom, smiled and said wistfully, "Enjoy her." I did, and so I see do you.

Life really is a circle, isn't it? :)

Chris said...

I am SO glad it turned out like this. When I read the title, I was expecting a comedy of errors. Sounds like the both of you met some great people along the way.

Judith HeartSong said...

oh good for you!!!

Nelle said...

I like to hear stories like this one and I hate it when people who are in wheelchairs are pushed to the side instead of being given extra treatment. Glad you made it to the plane on time.

Lisa said...

Wow, with all of the horrible things I hear about air travel it is nice to know they do have compassion and treated your mom so well. Double treats???? I'm travelling with her too!! ;)