Monday, June 21, 2004


Me and Dad sat in the car while Mom went in to order the pizza and wait for it. I don't know if it was premeditated, but it gave us some time to hang out and catch up. He asked how things were going, and I told him, as truthful as I could. I asked how things were going, and he told me. My family was getting old. Dad's back went out every other month and my grandparents, those that were left, weren't long for the world. Grandma Mathews needed a wheelchair and she had diabetes and wore diapers. Ma Fry was still working, but sometimes when you saw her she just looked old, and she'd never been that way before. The cigarettes would never get to her, but last year she broke her wrist getting out of the shower, and she still can't move her fingers very well on that hand. Grandpa Jent lived in a home and he couldn't remember the last twenty years very well; his short term memory was shot altogether. He didn't know who I was.

"Vascular dementia," Dad said. "It's pretty much Alzheimer's. His circulation ain't what it used to be, so the blood don't get up to his brain enough. The nerves up there, the things that control your memory, they're not getting the blood, so they quit working, and they just die off. It'll kill him eventually, but hell, I don't know how long. It's what did Reagan in, and he had it for ten years. At least. And good news--"

(Dad slapped me in the chest with the back of his hand)

"--it's hereditary." Dad laughed. Mom came back with the pizza.

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