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I’m dreaming of a purple Christmas.

December 20, 2012

Daddy’s second consultation with a neuropsychiatrist is coming up. In preparation for the appointment, Mother asked me to compile a list of ways in which Daddy has changed, a.k.a. gotten worse. Even since the summer, Daddy’s personality has significantly dissipated. Perhaps the most painful part of his disease progression has been watching his expression transform from pensive to devoid of thought. For as long as I can remember Daddy has left the dinner table well before everyone else finishes eating and talking, relaxing in front of the adjacent room’s TV. However, now Daddy seems to stare past the television, blinking blankly through newscasters, Dirty Harry and lobbing footballs. I lost my appetite on Thanksgiving when I caught a glimpse of his gaze from the table.

“I wonder what he’s thinking,” Timber has ruminated when he makes that face.

Last Sunday, Mother, Daddy and Timber convened at my house to make brunch. When Mother and I stood alone in the kitchen washing dishes after our meal, she quietly cried to me, “Thank you for seating me next to your daddy instead of across from him. It hurts to look at him.”

Daddy also has become disinterested in keeping in touch with his friends. Day trips to Dahlonega always included stopping by North Georgia College to say hello to the Commandant of Cadets as well as Army Ranger friends at Camp Frank D. Merrill. Upon my parents’ visit to Dahlonega last week, Daddy turned down Mother’s offer to make their once-mandatory social rounds.

“Well who do you want to see?” Mother asked.

“Just you and the girls,” he answered. After a stretch of silence he added, “And Ryan.”

In my “Reindeer poo all in the front yard” post, I mention how, with childlike excitement, Daddy insisted that we drive around looking at Christmas lights last year. In an effort to connect, I asked Daddy at brunch on Sunday if he would like to coast past the same tacky electrical display again.

“Not particularly,” he said.

“Okay, Daddy.”

For a while Daddy’s sense of time has been skewed. The first week in December, he inquired about the family’s Thanksgiving plans, unaware the holiday already had passed.

Miraculously, Daddy remembered Mother’s and his 41st wedding anniversary yesterday. Mother contemplated driving to Fish Thyme in Acworth for a classy dinner, but they ended up dining at Cracker Barrel instead.

Last Christmas I knew the holidays never would be the same again. I couldn’t watch the tender father-daughter scene in Prancer Sunday night without sobbing.

“I can’t t-t-t-take it!” I shouted.

“See, I told you. We should have watched Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” Timber said, referencing our debate over which movie channel to surf to. “Wouldn’t you much rather watch people’s bodies being torn apart?” She moved to my sofa and lightly patted my back while I heaved.

“Any movie that doesn’t reference coming of age is best for Bobbin,” Ryan sighed.

“I know. Does Underworld cover topics like parent-child relationships or virginity loss? Just change the damn channel,” I whimpered.

Once I lost it over viewing Sam Elliott console his on-screen daughter, I resolved to have a joyful holiday. The holidays are hard for a lot of people, so I will toast plenty of glasses of Late Harvest Riesling to them over the next couple weeks.

Fuck you, Alzheimer’s. You will NOT ruin the Wages family’s Christmas.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. David Todd permalink
    December 20, 2012 5:02 pm

    Hang in there Bobbin, you’re doing a great job. Dave

    Sent from my iPad

  2. December 20, 2012 5:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the encouragement, Dave. I hope you and your family have a beautiful holiday.

  3. Jennifer Grostick permalink
    December 27, 2012 8:50 pm

    Bobbin, reading this brought tears to my eyes. I hate hearing this. I am so glad your mother has you and Timber to talk to. Just take it one day a time. We love you!
    Jen/Chuck

    • December 28, 2012 9:43 pm

      I love y’all, too, Jennifer. I’m blessed beyond measure with amazing sibs-in-law. ❤

  4. Timber permalink
    January 20, 2013 9:45 am

    I never really enjoyed Prancer anyway. I only watched it because of you and Mother. I think we should explore the comedy genre for awhile if you continue to stubbornly refuse vampire and zombie flicks.

    • January 20, 2013 10:11 am

      Yeah, comedies and inspirational movies documenting underdogs’ rise to the top are frequenting my Netflix queue as of late. Have you ever watched the TV show Louie? I’ve been catching instant episodes of that as well. It’s that dark sick humor we like.

  5. January 28, 2013 4:06 pm

    We say “Fuck You, Cancer” around the holidays now, for similar reasons to “Fuck You, Alzheimers.” You’re awesome, Bobbin 🙂

    • January 28, 2013 4:21 pm

      It’s pretty cathartic to curse at our family’s respective illnesses. I can think of no word that feels better to scream than “fuck.” I received your wonderful Yelp message, by the way – and read it a few times actually, as it was so overwhelmingly encouraging and kind. I will respond!

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