Dad was dining with friends on a bright sunny day when he fell into the abyss—the handprints of Parkinson’s disease on his back. His formerly reliable, if unsteady, legs stopped working, and his brilliant mind faded. Nightmares haunted his sleep. Daytime hallucinations taunted his grasp on reality. “Are you really here?” he asked visitors, just to be sure.
In rehab now, Dad tells jokes to the therapist while drawing the hands on a clock and learning math problems he tutored me on in grade school. When alone, he chats with the woman in the lounger whom no one else sees.