Thursday, 15 January 2009

If it is Thursday it must be London

I was not sure if it would be better to laugh hysterically or yell out in frustration. It happened like this:
The phone rings at 9:05 PM, my mother said that the train was late, she will be getting the train at 9:15 instead and she could not buy her ticket for that part of the trip so she would be buying it after she got on the train. I asked if she would be in London in an hour and a half or two hours, she said she did not know so I told her to call me again when she was close so I could head out to the VIA rail station downtown. She hangs up.

I call my brother to see if there is any food needed. There is not much in the house that Mom would eat or cook, no milk or bread for her so I head out to a late hours grocery store to stock up. I am back home at 10:30 PM. I sit with phone in hand so that when it rang my Sweetie would not be woken up. It is a 10 minute ride downtown.

11:30 pm and no call, perhaps she missed the train and had to go to Toronto to catch the later train which arrives in London about 1:15 AM. I sort of snooze on the couch on and off with the dogs, phone still in hand.

Sweetie comes in at 2:30 to tell me what the time is, and I am still waiting for the call to meet her. I know there are no more trains arriving tonight and I start to worry. Mom is a senior, health issues, it is -27C outside so I worry a lot.

I check the train schedule - no more trains. Sweetie asks if I called VIA and check for a passenger list. They don't really do that for train travel in the way that airlines do but it's well worth a try. I did try mom's cell # but she was not available. Sweetie is very helpfully telling me that she should have come home on the weekend and let us know ahead of time so if she ran into some problem like this we could go pick her up. This is not possible on a weekday.

I call the 1-800-help-me-choose-#4-wait-on-the-line-because-your-call-is-being-held-in-priority-sequence-VIA and Roger tries to look through train times, reservation lists and whatever info he has at his electronically enabled fingertips but he has no access to AMTRAK info. He can however tell me that the train was not late tonight, the London train left on time and the station master would have been there until 10:30 to sell her a ticket. No trace of her buying one though. He suggests I talk to AMTRAK but likely they will not be able to help me locate my lost mother because they also have privacy policies. I call 1-800-help-me-choose-#4-wait-on-the-line-because-your-call-is-being-held-in-priority-sequence-AMTRAK and ask for help, please. Alicia tries to see what bytes of helpful data she can find for me. beep, beep, beep, the line hangs up.

REDIAL, wait-in-priority-sequence, Maria responds and I go back to the beginning of the story. My mother is traveling from point A NY to Point B Ontario via a transfer point. That I had spoken with her, heard her train was delayed, she is taking a later train and I have been waiting long past any other trains expected arrival; now I have lost her.

AMTRAK voice checks the train history, it arrived at 7:27 PM; the connection should have been made. My desperate voice encourages her to look through the reservations list and not ticket has been purchased under any possible version of her name. She is sorry.

3:00 AM. I call my brother again and ask him to look to see if she is perhaps, actually in her bed and did not bother anyone to help her get home from the downtown train station. He assures me that she is not there, and after looking tells me no, she really is not there.

Images of Toronto Union Station, middle of the night, homeless lurkers avoiding the minus 27C and my diabetic senior citizen, not a critical thinker, say-yes-when-you-have-no-idea-what-is-being-asked-mother who likely has no money either spending the night. Not a pretty picture.
I am starting to freak a bit now. I have lost her somewhere, somehow.

Time to call the Aunt who she had been visiting and tell her that I lost mom. It is now 3:30 AM in London, it must be Thursday right.

I call, sorry Aunt, this is L and I don't know where Mom is. She called at 9:05 telling me the train was late, she was taking a train at 9:15 to London and I had asked her to call me when she was close so that I can pick her up but she has not arrived and I have no idea where she is. Pause from Aunt; "your mother is here. She is not leaving until tomorrow morning. She is getting a ride to the station in the morning". OH.

What was my mother talking about? I have no clue. Why did she tell me the train was late and she had not even left yet. There is only one train and it only leaves at 10:40 AM; that sounds nothing like 9:15. What did she think she heard when I asked if she would be here in and hour and a half or two hours? I really have no clue.

So from patiently (impatiently) waiting with the phone in my hand for 4 hours, freaking and worrying for another hour I am now freaking and being crazy because I still have no clue why I wasted the last 5 hours. AGHHHH! Am I still in London? Is it Thursday? I have to go bed because I have to get up and go to work.

Thank goodness Thursday is Cappuccino day with Penny, She arrived early enough and woke me up so that I could do Thursday, in London.


  1. I don't know whether to laugh or be angry at your mom. Either way, I hope you have a great visit with her.

  2. I'm glad she's o.k.! That sure is a stressful situation! I hope that you guys have a fun time!

  3. Melissa4:00 pm

    Ugh. That is crazy-making.


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