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Cain’t Remember Shit

March 9, 2012
Daddy with his Birthday chili dogs

Daddy with his Birthday chili dogs

“I’m doin’ fine. Just cain’t remember shit.”

If you ask my father how he’s doing, that’s how he’ll probably respond. Last Monday my family received a diagnosis we had been waiting for since Christmas. Daddy has a brain disease, more specifically mild cognitive disorder. We had hoped depression and anxiety could explain his sudden memory loss.

I first noticed odd behavior around August, when my family celebrated my sister Timber’s Birthday. Before my now-fiance Ryan and I departed, the five of us drove to El Nopal for an early dinner. Daddy seemed unusually distant and despondent, and remained disinterested in ordering his customary huevos rancheros or other rich Mexican meal.

“What will you have, sir?” the waitress asked.

“Hot dawg.”

Daddy requested two hot dogs from the children’s menu.

“Robert!” Mother gasped while rummaging through the chip bowl.

Hot dogs became a symbol of the progression of Daddy’s disease. Right after Christmas, he took medical leave from work, often requesting Mother to drive him to Kennesaw, downtown Atlanta or even Dawsonville to pick up a half-dozen chili dogs.

Chili dogs, bologna and chocolate soon overtook his diet. For Daddy’s Birthday I brought him six steaming chili dogs from the Varsity, setting the hot greasy box on the counter. Plus, my boss sent him a goody bag. She had participated in Mardi Gras festivities in Orange Beach the week before and gathered Moon Pies of all flavors and sizes, delivering them in an attempt to lift my family’s spirits. Also in an effort to encourage healthier eating, she included two apples.

Among Daddy’s Birthday gifts he unwrapped a Swiss Army knife, new pants and a political book. But his favorite present was the chili dogs.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    March 25, 2012 11:31 am

    Nice picture of Daddy! We have to wean him off this obsessive hot dog consumption, though.

  2. March 25, 2012 12:58 pm

    I know… he grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for Mother’s and my joint Birthday celebration of course.

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