Fighting Parkinson’s, and control, acceptance, and surrender, part 2

Two weeks ago, I posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and control, acceptance, and surrender. I have received a number of email inquiries over the last few days asking if everything was okay because I did not do a blog post last week. Today’s post will explain why I did not do a blog post last week, and how control, acceptance, and surrender have remained critical components in how I live my life.

I concluded the post two weeks ago like this:

Control. Acceptance. Surrender. Why not take control of your Parkinson’s by taking control of the one thing in life over which you have absolute control: YOUR EFFORTS! Okay, here’s the catch: Why not surrender and give up trying to control all of the things over which you have little or no control: EVERYTHING ELSE!

Here is my real life application of these processes.

In the late morning of Sunday, February 23rd, we received a phone call from my sister’s fiance that my father could not be awakened. He was breathing, but he could not be awakened, and the ambulance was on the way to pick him up to take him to the hospital. This came as a surprise as to best of all of our knowledge, my father had not been ill.

Approximately an hour later, the phone call told me that they were working on my father and how things would turn out would be determined in the following 8-10 hours. My response was to let me know what was going on in an hour and I would decide whether to come down to Miami at that time. Thirty minutes later the call came that said, “You need to come down now.” Upon inquiry, I learned that my father’s brain was bleeding and a neurologist was on the way.

I packed a suitcase and got in the car for the 4 and 1/2 hour drive. 4 and 1/2 hours is a lot of time to come to terms with life and death.

On the life side, I was happy that we had an 80th birthday party for him last summer. Also, I was happy that my father had been up to Tampa during the holidays and got to visit with Sally and me as well as our three children. And, in January, our daughter Victoria had an event in Miami, so we made it a three-day weekend and spent time with my father.

On the death side, I realized that my mother had died three days earlier 7 years ago. I imagined that February 20th had been a hard day for my father and maybe there was something really wrong with him and he decided not to fight it because he was ready to be with my mother. She had died 5 months prior to their 50th wedding anniversary.

Control. Acceptance. Surrender.

Control. Whether the end result of this episode for my father was going to be life or death was out of my control. The only things in the entire situation over which I had any control were getting in the car and driving to Miami, and my emotional reaction to the events of the day as they unfolded.

Acceptance. I had to accept that my father might die that day. This type of acceptance is something I learned in my Parkinson’s recovery. It is the acceptance that says, “Okay. I do not like what happened. What am I going to do about it if, in fact, there is anything I can do about it?” Which brings me to surrender.

Surrender. I had to surrender to my Higher Power that if my father died that day, not only did I have no control over the event, his death, but also that I had to accept that there was nothing I could do change it if it occurred. This is absolute vulnerability — no control over the potential outcome of an event, and even if I did not like the outcome when it occurred, acceptance of it nonetheless with the understanding that there was nothing I could do to change it. And, the further surrender that whatever was the outcome, it was necessary in the grander scheme of the Universe, and nobody owed me an explanation.

My father had suffered a massive aneurysm, and he died that night. I was in Miami for the week, which is why there was no blog post last week.

What helped me deal with his death were the life concepts of control, acceptance, and surrender as outlined above. And, what puts a smile on my face is thinking about my parents’ spirits together again after 7 years of separation. I feel my father was ready to join my mother, and he did.

After I had posted Fighting Parkinson’s, and control, acceptance, and surrender two weeks ago, I told Sally that I had a feeling that I needed to do a part 2 to explain how these concepts play out in real life. A real life situation occurred, and I have shared it with you today.

I leave you with this:

Control. Acceptance. Surrender. Why not take control of your Parkinson’s by taking control of the one thing in life over which you have absolute control: YOUR EFFORTS! Okay, here’s the catch: Why not surrender and give up trying to control all of the things over which you have little or no control: EVERYTHING ELSE!

It is how you get better from Parkinson’s and how you deal with life.

You can do it.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,


ps Thank you, dad, for helping me with today’s post. I love you. Give mom my love, too.

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34 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and control, acceptance, and surrender, part 2

  1. Joe says:

    You have my deepest sympathy Howard! Thanks for the great post today!

  2. Barry says:

    Much love to you Howard — great teaching story, great parents, one heck of a son.

  3. Jon Patch says:

    I feel your loss, Howard. Thank you for the honest sharing. Blessings to you, your family, and your parents.

  4. Kay says:

    My condolences, Howard. Thank you for sharing the lessons in this experience.

  5. caterina geuer says:

    Dear Howard,

    Your Dad must have been such a special person–I am sure that he–like my Dad who also died due to a brain aneurism–will continue to be one of your guides and mentors. I am sure you and your family will miss him. Wishing you all strength and consolation in the happy memories you share of him and his life.


  6. judy says:

    Thank-you so much, Howard. God bless you and your family in your great loss. Thank-you for letting us be a part of this life event. You and your family are so special.

  7. Rita says:

    Dear Howard,
    Our deep condolences for your loss. Our hearts are with you . You are always bringing to us the strength . This time we want to bring our strength to you .
    Thank you for your post , and sharing with us.
    Blessing to your whole Family.

  8. Marianne Stall says:

    My dear friend thank you for sharing this most intimate time. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you, your Father and your family. How blessed is your Father to have your love and devotion. Surely your Parents are watching over you.

    With blessings of love and light,
    Marianne Stall

  9. Jack says:

    Howard, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am sorry for the loss of someone you loved so much. Peace.

  10. Laura Doyle says:

    So sorry to hear about your Dad, Howard. May he find peace. Blessings to you and your family.

    Laura Doyle and Nellie

  11. Debbie says:

    Dear Howard,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you so much for being you, and for sharing you with all of us! God Bless you and your family at this time, and always.
    Best of all you need

  12. Dear Howard…I feel gratitude for this post…gratitude for you…gratitude for your Dad …and the wisdom and love spilling through the ether….thanks so much for sharing this tender time with us.

  13. jeanne says:

    Our deepest sympathy for your loss. May God bless you and your family in this difficult time. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Jeanne and Vipin

  14. Debbie says:

    I am sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing your heart……..we care for you so much!

  15. Nancy says:

    Dear Howard,

    Our prayers are with you and you’re loved ones…only God has given you the strength to go on. For He says not to depend on your power or strength but on His Spirit. Thank you, for you are a true example of that.

  16. Jane says:

    Dear Howard,

    Thank you for a deeply peaceful and powerful post. My thoughts are with you and Sally and your family at this time.

    With love and blessings, Jane

  17. Sally Carlson says:

    My deepest sympathy to you, Sally and your children Howard.

  18. jimmy says:

    Howard recibe un abrazo y todo mi afecto , siento la muerte de tu padre , gracias por todo , y por tu gran esfuerzo de compartir tu vida con nosotros dios te bendiga

    Howard gets a hug and all my affection. I feel the death of your father. Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing your life with us. God bless.

  19. luke says:

    Love, light, and blessings to you, Howard. What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you

  20. Al Lade says:

    Howard, we are so sorry to hear about your dad. Our deepest sympathy and thoughts go out to you and your family. Much peace, Al and Steffany

  21. Melanie says:

    So sorry for your loss. I know there is much joy and consolation in knowing that your parents are reunited again and that you will see them again one day. The hard part is being separated for a time from those we love. You and your family are in my prayers! Much love and gratitude, Melanie

  22. mayarita says:

    Dear Howard
    My Deepest condolences and sympathy for your loss and thanking you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful post.
    Love to you and family

  23. Helen says:

    Dear Howard thank you for such a personal heartfelt sharing may the love wrap around and inside you. And may your mum n dad be peaceful and together. I have been seeing this lesson a lot lately letting go of control surrendering and accepting. I have seen for so much of my life I wanted to control things outcomes etc. now I am learning to trust in the flow more and surrender within. Thank you for being you. I love you dearly. Love to all your family

  24. Mandy says:

    So sorry to hear about your dad Howard, my deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  25. Marie says:

    Dear Howard,

    It is wonderful to read about how the lessons you learned in your Parkinsons’s recovery support and guide you in every part of your life, even…or especially….at a time of such a deep loss. This is such a beautiful post about control acceptance and surrender. You have such strength and grace; You inspire me, Howard, to continue growing and creating healthy responses to life’s challenges. thank you. I love you.

  26. Allen says:

    Dear Howard,
    Thank you for the sharing of such a heartfelt time with us. I am sure your Mom and Dad’s heart seeded your heart, nurturing it to flower into what you are today. Love and grace are with them as they continue their guidance from a higher place.

  27. Rick Deno says:

    So sorry for your loss Howard.
    You have helped so many so unselfishly, your Dad must have been very proud of you.

  28. Dana Hodgkins says:

    Howard, blessings and my deepest sympathy to you and your family. Even in your time of grief, you have given us a heartfelt and inspirational message. Thank you.

    With love,

  29. Laura says:

    Dear Howard, one more time you helped us through experiences of your real life.
    You have such strength and grace to inspire this beautiful community every time.
    Our deepest condolences and sympathy for your loss.
    Love to you and family, Luca and Laura

  30. Peta Gibson says:

    My deepest is hard losing your last parent. Happy they are together and looking out for you.

  31. Angela Wensley says:

    Dear Smiling Heart,

    I have never felt more connected to you than at this moment. As you know, my father died 3 years ago and your kind words were much appreciated. Grief passes. Until then, may loving arms enfold you and your family.

  32. Susie says:

    Dear Howard,
    Every day we feel your love for us. Please feel our love for you.
    Frank and Susie

  33. Leontina says:

    Draga Howard ,aceea dintre noi care mai avem parinti suntem ingroziti la gandul ca intr o zi vor pleca de langa noi dar acum prin aceasta postare ai facut ca aceasta frica sa nu mai aiba putere asa mare asupra noastra ,ne ai convins ca nu putem controla aceasta situatie si trebuie sa ne consolam cu ideea ca asa e firesc.Avem nevoie de inteligenta ta.Cu dragoste Leo

    Dear Howard, those of us who have parents are horrified at the thought that one day they will leave us, but now in this post you made ​​this fear no longer have power over us. This is so great. You have convinced us that we cannot control this situation and must take comfort from the idea that it is natural. We need your intelligence. Love Leo

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