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My Dad’s Illness

March, 1986    Gloucester, Massachusetts

In the late winter of 1986 my dad had 3 auto accidents and an incident on Maplewood Ave where a Gloucester policeman took his car keys & told him to walk home. In desperation he went to his doctor fearing he was losing his eyesight. The doctor made an unusual discovery: my dad had no peripheral vision.  From this he drew the conclusion that my dad could be suffering from the onset of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, the neurological disorder that afflicted the actor Dudley Moore. Over the next few years my dad would slowly lose his abilities. Walking his beloved dog Tania he would lose control & Tania would run off-always returning back to him. Dad would fall down walking home & neighbors would assume he was drunk. The man who could never sit still who dreamed of a retirement raising carrier pigeons and riding horses was at home slowly deteriorating watching Baywatch repeats. Disagreements about how to best help Dad led to bitter conflicts in the  family. Dad struggled with this illness for 10 years before passing on June 26, 1996. He was the finest kind.

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Written by PaulPallazola

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