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Dad, you're lame.

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Remember that time when ‘lame’ was the new catch-phrase? Anything you didn’t agree to was just so ‘lame’? I do.

“Ha. Ha. Dad, that wasn’t funny.” “Of course it was, I’m funny.” “No, you’re lame.” “Go to your room.” It was only after those words had been said did I realize that you aren’t supposed to be saying that to your father who has been suffering from multiple sclerosis.

His eyes were filled with hurt though he camouflaged them well with anger. I couldn’t believe what I had done. Mom was right; I didn’t think before I spoke, my words had hit him worse than a whip. The man, at 6’3”, had done karate when he was young and once had the reflexes of a ninja, was lame, literally. The man who had never admitted that he was anything less than a normal man had been called lame, by the insensitive me.

Dad had been sick since 2005; multiple sclerosis had taken away movement in his left arm and leg. Today, six years later, he still doesn’t use a walking stick. He still insists that he can walk long distances but only ‘chooses’ not to. He still insists that he can beat anyone up. It’s heartbreaking to see the man who gave you piggy back rides when you were small and picked you up with one arm when you were two, fall. He’s never hurt, he laughs it off but fact is that his limp is so bad that he can barely hold himself up. It doesn’t help that he’s dangerously overweight either. You tell him to take care of his health and he’ll say- “I’m not going to be around much longer, let me live.”

My dad has tried everything, literally. He had tried Homeopathy, Ayurveda and all sorts of medicines. He’s consulted the world’s best doctors but there is no known cure. Last year, he went through a procedure called ‘stem cell therapy’, I don’t know what it was but my Dad was in the hospital for over a week. Not pleasant at all.

You know what hurts me the most? Even after this incident I haven’t stopped using the word, the insulting word, the word that is as bad as using ‘retard’ as an insult. Ever thought about that? I have.





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