The reason for the trip to Mackay was so that Dot and her brother and his wife could see their sister in Mackay.
They hadn't seen each other in a long time and with the advancing years, the opportunities have to be seized. Dot is able to get to the airport in her wheelchair using a Maxi Taxi and both airport staff and other passengers are always willing to assist in any way possible. Airfares always can be bought cheaply and it takes no time at all to fly to many destinations in Australia. The memories are worth it.
It is a novelty for Dot to be in the airport environment, watching the people and planes coming and going. There is also the opportunity to enjoy the cafe food instead of usual home meals. This particular trip was an early morning start therefore the added bonus was seeing the sunrise.
The process for having disabled passengers board the plane makes flying an option for everyone. Airport staff transfer the person to the airline's wheelchair which is taken right to the seat on the plane. It is then a simple matter to slide the person into the plane seat. You can see Dot's face come to life when she has boarded the plane.
In the photo (top left) is Dot, her sister-in-law Jessie and Dot's brother, Eric. In arranging this reunion, it also was an important milestone as it was the first time Jessie had ever flown in her life .. she was in her late 70's. Looking at that photo and seeing the expectation on their faces shows that it is important to do all you can when you have the chance. Jessie developed leukemia mid 2009 and passed away within a month.
The photo above left was taken in the Mackay airport. Something triggered us all to start laughing and we simply couldn't stop. Managed to get a photo of Dot at that moment. Photo above right shows Dot together with her only remaining brother and sister in Mackay. For her sister, she was thrilled to see Dot again. Even though Dot is unable to say a word, it doesn't affect how people react to her. There is instant bonding. In fact, she has taught us more without having spoken a word than all the rhetoric and small conversation spoken by others over the last two years.
Leaving Mackay Airport at sunset, the expression on Dot's face is one of a lady who has thoroughly enjoyed herself.