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Can I ride a scooter?

March 23, 2012
Daddy rides his new scooter. (August 10, 2008)
Daddy rides his new scooter. (August 10, 2008)

Mother recently broke the news of Daddy’s MRI results to me. She waited until yesterday so as not to soil my Birthday. The damage to the frontal lobe of Daddy’s brain is consistent with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The doctor finally prescribed him two medications, Aricept and Namenda, which should slow the condition’s progression. Several people have assured me that their loved ones who have taken those drugs remained stable for years.

Daddy stopped driving around Christmas, when he apparently almost plowed through a Stop sign and thought he might have struck some pedestrians. Timber took him out to retrace his steps, making sure he didn’t kill anyone. In addition to experiencing a decline in judgment, Daddy now feels lost in familiar surroundings. He wouldn’t be able to find his destination even if he could drive. Almost ironically, Daddy enjoys riding around – a symptom typical of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps he finds the pastures along Highway 53 relaxing, or enjoys coasting past the cows that dot the grasses of Cash Road.

At Daddy’s appointment the doctor emphasized the urgency of taking away the car keys, which Mother clearly has done.

“Can I ride a scooter?” Daddy suggested.

“No,” Mother laughed, at least when she recounted the story to me.

Daddy sports his Georgia Tech helmet.
Daddy sports his Georgia Tech helmet.

Daddy’s question summoned memories of the bright yellow scooter he purchased in summer 2008, when he still worked close to home at the Mohawk campus in Calhoun. In an effort to save on exorbitant gas prices and lessen his carbon footprint, Daddy zoomed through the backroads to his office on Highway 41. In support of his good friend Billy Kidd’s alma mater, Daddy sported a Georgia Tech helmet. Daddy became known throughout town for his scooter, particularly since Calhoun’s infrastructure doesn’t support public transportation, or encourage biking or walking.

Soon after Daddy’s exciting purchase, Mohawk transferred him to its plant in Lyerly, Georgia. He faced an hour commute one-way. He sold the scooter, worked 12-hour days and became too exhausted to walk the Hill of Life. Sometimes I wonder if the stress Daddy encountered at the end of his career contributed to his development of mild cognitive impairment.

I’m heading to Calhoun tonight to celebrate Mother’s Birthday. I plan to ask her if she has stored Timber’s and my Fraggle Rock and Cabbage Patch Kids Big Wheels somewhere. Maybe she’ll let Daddy and me ride them to the end of the driveway and back.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    March 25, 2012 12:39 pm

    I’m kind of glad he already sold the Yellow Jacket Express. I wonder if he ever exceeded 35 mph on that thing. Remember how he had to practice when he first bought it? He refused to let us ride!

  2. March 25, 2012 12:46 pm

    Yes, he was very protective of his precious Yellow Jacket. : )

  3. Carolyn wise permalink
    March 27, 2012 4:17 pm

    Oh! My! This was hilarious! I’m so glad that you included his picture!

  4. March 27, 2012 4:27 pm

    You have no idea how happy I am to have taken those pictures. We also got some racier shots of Daddy, Timber and me posing on the scooter together. Daddy was surprisingly cooperative…

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