Personal essay

When I walk slowly, I get a little out of breath compared to what I can expect after a very short run. There's no two ways about it, I need to get in better shape if I can keep up with my dad and his walking companions. Of course, this little run was a bit unexpected so perhaps my sudden fatigue is the result of my body not receiving a full notice that its services are needed. And it's late afternoon in late July in central Florida, so the sun is hot and it feels like I'm sucking warm soup with every breath instead of air.

My dad moved again. There was a rocket launch planned for 6:24, so he slipped out of bed, out the front door, down the street, and around the corner before anyone noticed. When I found him after a few minutes of frantic searching, he was halfway down the road. Pushing his gray Walker, his four wheels. Moving quickly, if erratically, as he jogged and taunted.

I chased after him. Stopping a few steps to his right in the middle of the empty street, taking a few deep breaths and sending a small wave towards him.

I said.

I never knew exactly how to approach a conversation in these situations. It's a pretty unique social script. What does one say when chasing after the father of someone with Parkinson's and shouldn't be wandering the neighborhood alone?

"Where are you going?"

That seems like a good choice as any.

Well, let's see! My dad replied. His tone indicated this was a nonsensical question. Where else would he go? Verbal communication has never been the foundation of our father-son relationship and it only gets worse as his Parkinson's deepens.

As we established the reason for this amusement, we continued down the street, my dad hunched over, pushing the walker forward at a pace that left me scrambling By the time the thunderstorm had swept through an hour earlier.

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