Short graphic novel memoir about a trip Knisley took with her elderly grandparents- on a cruise ship to the Carribean. There was very little of the surroundings, it mostly takes place on the boat. Her grandparents signed up for the cruise, but in their nineties with failing health, the family was concerned about them traveling alone. So Knisley volunteered to go along and help them out. Turns out to be a trip more full of worry and stress than relaxation. Her grandmother has dementia, is often confused, and needs constant watching over. Her grandfather is incontinent but refuses help with cleaning his clothes (at first). Neither one had much interest in most of the activies on the boat. Knisley struggled to find things for them to do, fretted about are they enjoying it or not, and by the end was desperate to have some time to herself. There’s all the stress and small inconvenient incidents of traveling. Meeting strangers who don’t care or are judgemental. Having to manage small emergencies, one after another. The hearbreaking frustration of being a caretaker for a loved one who doesn’t even realize how much you’re helping. But there’s also a slowly growing feeling of greater connection to her family, as she reads her grandfather’s WWII journal and muses on some family traits (perhaps finally coming to terms with some). It’s a kind of slice-of-life about dealing with old age, the family that you love even if you’re often worn out by things that never change, and finding small moments of calm. Helping others find ways to enjoy the journey.
This did solidify my hunch though, that I probably wouldn’t enjoy a cruise myself.
Borrowed from the public library.