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Darlin’, should pot be legalized?

November 11, 2013

daddy-robeWhen not eating, walking the dogs, or coaxed to leave the house, my father sleeps. His robe strongly resembles the lounge attire Leonard often wears on the television show The Big Bang Theory. (See photo to the right; photo of Leonard courtesy of rachaelgibson.co.uk.) Daddy’s robe once symbolized weekend cups of coffee and Christmas morning, but now the Native American print reminds me of the parts of my father Alzheimer’s has taken away. Daddy traipses through the house at 3 p.m. donning the robe in search of an afternoon snack, slippers slapping linoleum; he retired to bed halfway through my uncle’s Birthday dinner on Friday night.

When my parents and I visited Timber in Augusta a few weekends ago, Timber knew not to purchase a fourth ticket for the Taste of Summerville and Tour of Homes. (Summerville is Augusta’s “old money” historic district.) Daddy would rather doze than take a trolley tour of local bars and peruse some of the city’s oldest abodes. While Timber, Mother, and I got ready for the Taste of Summerville, I poked my head into the guest bedroom and watched my father stare into nowhere, contemplating nothing, one series of blinks blurring into the next. I choked a little and proceeded downstairs.

While riding the trolley to the Partridge Inn, we befriended a girl and her mother, whose husband passed away several years ago. After pressuring Mother to take one sip of a mojito (“I have to drive us home!” she insisted), I observed her easy socialization with another woman near her age. I watched the condensation slide down the woman’s mojito glass and around her empty ring finger, realizing my mother is halfway a widow: a few months ago Mother got a flat tire and hitchhiked to a friend’s house in order to call for help. Daddy couldn’t drive to her rescue even if he wanted to. But more disturbingly, he remained unruffled when Mother finally arrived home and described her hideous day.

During lunch at a local cafe Timber mentioned a game she and her friends sometimes play at the dinner table. One person chooses a card from the deck and asks a personal question all diners take turns answering.

“For example,” she explained. “If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be? Mother?”

“I would be funny,” she responded without hesitation. “Some people are naturally funny, and I wish I were like that.”

“I wouldn’t be so jealous,” Timber said. “I tend to envy people’s possessions.”

“I wouldn’t be so obnoxious,” I nodded. “What about you, Daddy? What would you change about yourself?”

“Nothing,” he announced. “I’m perfect.”

The next morning Timber fixed us breakfast. While we waited I solved a pathetic number of words in the Creative Loafing crossword puzzle, and Daddy watched Fox News, shouting questions every few minutes like a child.

“Darlin’, when can we go to Gatlinburg?”

“We agreed we would go in February,” Mother replied.

“Darlin’, can we eat at the Burnin’ Bush when we go to Gatlinburg?”

“The Burning Bush closed, Robert.”

“Darlin’, when are we going to pick up the dogs?”

“When we get back to Calhoun tomorrow afternoon.”

“Darlin’, should pot be legalized?” he asked after watching a news segment about medical marijuana.

“I think it can be useful for medical purposes.”

Daddy’s mind is an eroding canvas, a painting in reverse. I dread the day I disappear from the picture.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    December 8, 2013 3:42 pm

    Me, too.

    As I know I’ve mentioned before, I think something that is very poorly understood about Alzheimer’s is the profound apathy with which it envelopes its victims. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone whose spouse seems to suddenly lose all interest in his/her life. It translates into a totally thankless existence unless you have a VERY STRONG support network, which I seriously doubt is present in many people’s lives.

    • December 8, 2013 8:58 pm

      It’s just a bunch of bullshit. I’ll probably start seeing my psychiatrist again in a few months. I love you, sister. Let’s be each other’s rocks and the wind beneath each other’s wings.

  2. Optimus Prime aka The Reverend Al Brown permalink
    December 16, 2013 1:11 pm

    All I can say is bless yall… :/

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