Fighting Parkinson’s, and Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. It is a time of celebration, visiting with family and friends, and reflection. Often, when reflecting about my recovery from Parkinson’s, I look back and think, “What a difference a year makes.”

A few days ago, I posted a blog entry entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s, and perseverance.” A year ago, I posted a blog entry about perseverance and letting go entitled, “Fighting Parkinson’s, the issue of depression, and a thank you to good friends.”

Here it is from May 6, 2010:
“I have read that depression is a Parkinson’s symptom. Upon reviewing the definition and symptoms of depression, I am happy to say that I am fortunate it has not visited itself upon me. I do not feel depressed; quite to the contrary, I feel upbeat. However, I had fallen into a mental cycle that I was discussing yesterday with my friends Mary and Jerry.

Even though this does not fit in the category of depression, I explained to them what had been plaguing me: Although I know that the only way I am going to fight Parkinson’s drug free and get better is to follow the regimen Sally and I have set forth, every morning I would engage in a conversation with myself about how I did not really need to do my QiGong exercises or meditation that morning…maybe I was stiff or my shoulder hurt and I didn’t want to worsen it or I did not have enough time before the rest of the family needed to be awakened…I cannot explain it except to say that my mind could find excuses I never thought I knew.

Every day, eventually I have overcome my excuses and performed my exercises and completed my meditation. Mary and Jerry listened. That is what friends do. And they empathized. That is what friends do, too. What happened this morning was a surprise to me. I walked into the living room to begin my QiGong exercises and I actually began do them — no hesitation, no excuses, no having to convince myself. It felt as natural as breathing. Apparently, by talking about this issue, I let it go and no longer owned it.

Thank you Mary and Jerry! By just listening to me and understanding me as a friend, you have helped me immensely.”

So, here we are a year later, on Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! So here we are a year later, and we will see our friends Mary and Jerry later today for a lunch celebration. The Mothers in attendance will be Sally and Mary, and Sally’s Mother, and Mary’s Mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

Missing, in person, from any celebration today will be my Mother, Lorraine, having passed away four years ago after a 24-year battle with Parkinson’s. Although missing in person from any celebration today, Mom, you will not be missing in spirit. I think of you often, particularly during those days when I was fighting the disease that cut your life short at age 72.

The memories that stick in my mind include a woman who was meant to be a Mom. You loved us all and put us first…and memories of family dinners, and holidays, and long talks while playing scrabble…and the way the room lit up when you walked in…those are some of my memories. And your infectious laugh. The way that you would start laughing, to the point of tears, in the middle of telling a funny story, because you already knew what was so funny about it, and it would cause us to start laughing without even having heard the rest of the story. And, or course, the inspiration you were to me in helping me fight this disease and win. I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

All my best,

Howard

 

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