A Shorter Wait

Today Anne-Shirley brought me to St. Boniface Hospital for yet another medical appointment, this time a lung scan with a Gamma Camera.

Two days ago she took me to a doctor’s appointment that made her wait far too long, sitting alone in the car with the radio on, finding thereon entertainment, but getting more and more bored, and more and more frustrated.

She seldom says anything when she waits for me to come out from whatever appointment I’m keeping. This time she vented. How come it took so long? How come the doctor was so late? How come this? How come that?

She was right in voicing her frustration. I decided I would do my best to make her wait less time at these medical visits..

So today I was at the hospital where tests on expensive machines are run on a more reliable schedule. She should not have to wait too long.

But the car died just as she was half-pulled into a parking spot. I couldn’t stay – had to go inside the hospital for my lung scan.

The appointment lasted about three-quarters of an hour.

When I came out, the car was still parked halfway into a spot. She had not been able to get it started. It was probably out of gas.

We called her son Chris numerous times. No answer. His voice box was full, so we couldm’t leave a message.

We called the CAA.

It would take 45 minutes to bring gas.

We waited.

The CAA guy came with gas, but an empty fuel tank was not the problem. The car still wouldn’t start.

So we called a towtruck to take the car to Renn Auto on Logan Avenue.

It would take another 45 minutes.

We waited.

The towtruck came and took the car away.

Then we called a cab to take us home. It would take 15 minutes for the cab to arrive.

We waited.

Finally we got home at 6:30 pm, five hours after we left. It should have been less than three.

So that’s what happens when you decide on something. I wanted to make Anne-Shirley’s wait shorter, but instead it was drastically longer.

I appreciate Anne-Shirley for all she does for me in our late-in-life romance.

At 83 and 77 we are lucky to have each other. Most other people our age are vegetating in nursing homes, alone with few visitors, some with no visitors at all, waiting to die.

We, too, are waiting to die. Our bodies are aged. Anne-Shirley finds it hard to walk. I find it hard to breathe.

But while we wait, we do things. Our minds are still sound. We go to an art class. We drive to Lockport to feed the gulls. We paint. I write. Anne-Shirley plays with her cats. We cook. We eat out. We enjoy life.

We connect with our friends. Anne-Shirley talks most every day with one friend or another in Toronto, where she lived for 28 years.

I talk to my three daughters virtually every day.

Together we host a few friends to join us at our dining-room table for coffee and pastry Chris gets from the French Bakery. Our round-the-table talks get us caught up on latest news. How are the kids doing? Where have they travelled lately? How are their businesses doing? How old are the grandchildren now?

We stay connected. Other old people have no one to talk with, except other old people in wheelchairs with feeble minds and frail bodies.

We are lucky.

My biggest challenge now is figuring out how I can make Anne-Shirley wait less when she takes me places, and how I can show her I love her.

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