I live in Houston with my husband and two cats. My parents live in Temple, Texas, roughly 35 miles south of Waco and 165 northwest of Houston. My father was scheduled for aortic valve replacement surgery on May 6, 2015. He was annoyed with me because I planned to take off a day from work to sit in a waiting room for, as he put it, goodness knows how long. Instead, he wanted me to postpone my visit until after he returned home, which would be in 7 to 10 days.

His 7 to 10-day hospital stay became somewhat akin to Gilligan’s three-hour tour. This is the story of our adventure.