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  • by Carolyn Lackey

Come Sail Away

If I visit the Meems in the afternoon, she is most assuredly napping. I like to go around 4:00 so that I can snuggle and chat with her before the aides come to take her to dinner. Her bed is soft and warm. A small oscillating fan whispers back and forth. It's quiet. Heaven.

Yesterday when she saw me, the first words out of her mouth were, "When do we land?"

I assumed that "we" were "flying."

Me (checking my watch): Well, it's a little after 4:00, so, I reckon we'll land around 5:00 (dinnertime).

Meems: Can you see land yet?

Me (realizing that we're cruising, NOT flying): Not yet. It won't be long now.

Meems (with furrowed brow): I need to get up and pack all of my clothes. I have a lot of clothes.

Me: Remember, Mom, we're cruising first class. They will do all of our packing for us. We don't have to lift a finger.

Meems (softly smiling): It's funny that you know more about my cruise than I do.

I was so happy that she was on a cruise yesterday. In reality, she spent the afternoon curled up on her little second-hand hospital bed in her small, spartan room in an assisted living facility with her head resting on her best favorite Thermarest pillow covered with her best favorite pink satin pillowcase. For the elderly living with macular degeneration, sleep is often the most comforting way to make the hours go by since the options of reading juicy novels and watching Lifetime TV movies have gone by the wayside.

Me: Did you think that I would let you go on a cruise without me?! We're traveling buddies!

Meems (again with the smiling): That's right. [pause] I need to go to the bathroom.

When the aide came in to assist Mom to the bathroom, Mom warned her that they would have to hurry because we would be landing soon.

Meems (to the aide): I need for you to pack my clothes!

Me (explaining): We're on a cruise today!

Aide: Oooooh, a cruise! Are we in the Caribbean?

I love her for that. Yes, let's all get onboard. Meems is on a Tuesday afternoon Caribbean cruise. And, she packed lots and lots of cute cruise-wear.

Yes, get onboard, and sail with it.

Now, I have to sing it..."Come sail away! Come sail away! Come SAIL AWAY with ME-e-e!"

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