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Family Circle 2009 Fiction Contest: "The Sanity of Socks"

Every day Daddy slipped deeper and deeper into the nightmare that was his failing mind. Every day I lost my father a bit, a memory, a word at a time.

Today I had taken the day off. I had taken Daddy to his doctor, where he was charming and called the doctor "Bob" even though his name was Melvin. Doctor Melvin patted Daddy on the shoulder and listened to his heart and pronounced him as sound and healthy as a horse. I glared at Doctor Melvin. He had no clue.

"Thanks, Bob," I hissed as I wheeled Daddy out of his office.

I took Daddy out for a treat and we sat in a cafe and ate cinnamon doughnuts and sipped coffee. Doughnut crumbs fell on Daddy's shirt and he licked one of his fingers and gathered them up. A woman with a large behind came into the cafe with her toddler. I saw her and tried to wheel Daddy out the door before he spied her.

Too late.

"Look at that big butt!" Daddy yelled as I raced him out the door and into the parking lot, my face flaming hot.

And yet, all in all, it had been a good day. There weren't any meltdowns any name-calling, and no angry outbursts.