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April 16, 2014

Ordering an appropriately dressed hamburger is impossible for my father. On my Birthday at Farm Burger he requested a sole slice of cheese, which is no fun compared to the restaurant’s vast topping combination possibilities.

“No, you don’t want that,” I corrected Daddy, snatching the menu from his hand. “You want No. 6.” (No. 6 includes bacon, a fried egg, pepper jack cheese, and salsa verde.)

“Mmm. This is good,” he smacked at the table, validating my knowledge of his hamburger tastes.

My father lost the ability to make big decisions a couple years ago, but now he can’t even select condiments from a list.

When we dined at Augusta restaurant Whiskey Bar a few weeks ago, Daddy again ordered a hamburger accented with a lonely piece of cheese, along with a Yuengling and a side of onion rings.

“I want a cheeseburger,” he notified the waitress.

“He wants a Yuengling, too,” Timber added.

“And a side of onion rings,” I told her.

The waitress laughed as though we were cunts who control our father’s every move — but really, we scan the menu with him and remember what he points out because he’ll forget seconds later.

The other morning I lay on Timber’s living room floor performing physical therapy exercises to rebuild my atrophied muscle post knee surgery. While I completed clam shells with a resistance band, Timber read her daily Upper Room Bible lesson aloud so Daddy, on the adjacent sofa, could hear.

She began with Psalm 119:105:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

All of the Upper Room spirituals are written by readers, and that day’s story involved a mountain climber who hiked a trail without a map. He got lost, so his scouring the overgrown path for trail markers inhibited his scenic enjoyment.

Just like people who don’t study the path of their Christian journey fall to the wayside!!! ! !! ! !

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be disciplined in our worship, our praying, and our Bible study so that we can keep your guidance fresh in our hearts and minds.

“Daddy,” Timber said once she finished reading.

“Huh?” he half-snorted, awaking from his jaunt through Alzheimer’s La La Land.

“What is the underlying message of today’s lesson?”

“Worship!!” he yelled as if he were a punk from my public high school who never listened but remained attentive enough to provide smart-ass answers.

“No,” Timber scowled.

“Hikers,” Daddy tried.


“Lemme see that,” he huffed, jerking the pocket-sized booklet from her grip. “‘God’s touchstones give us confidence for our faith journey,'” he announced, quoting the sidebar containing the Thought for the Day.

“Good enough,” she sighed.

“Awesome, Daddy!” I panted while isolating my core.

My eyes rolled to the side and fell on his vacant gaze and focused on his unconcerned brow and winced with every empty blink. I ached to look away, but I couldn’t help but stare at the aftermath of the traffic accident inside his brain.

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