Fighting Parkinson’s, and abundant gratitude…and okay

I began my previous post by pointing out that I became so grateful for the daily opportunity to be alive with my soul in a human body (even one with Parkinson’s), that the Parkinson’s simply did not matter. For eight years, I give this same gratitude every day when I awake for a new day.

At the end of Friday’s post I wished Sally a happy birthday. Friday was to be a day of celebrating Sally’s birthday. Okay.

Our daughter, Genevieve, had flown in from Maryland on Wednesday evening to surprise Sally for her birthday. On Thursday, they had a great Mother-Daughter day in Portland. Okay.

To begin Friday’s celebration, we went to a coffee shop in a neighboring town. Five minutes after we left the coffee shop, we were in our car with me driving, and we were on a four-lane highway in the right-hand lane driving at the 55 mile-per-hour speed limit. Much to our surprise, a car traveling at a very high rate of speed crashed into the rear end of our car with such an impact that it buckled the bumper and blew out the back window. Okay.

I was able to get the car off of the road. The three of us and the driver of the other vehicle all were safe and without major injuries. Ultimately the car got towed to a body shop and we rented a vehicle. We spent most of Sally’s birthday talking to the insurance company and giving gratitude. Okay.

Sally opted to stay home for her birthday, for the three of us to have a quiet dinner at home and have movie night. We allow the one whose birthday it is to make all the choices unconditionally. So it was a nice evening at home filled with love and gratitude. Okay.

Saturday was a new day. I gave gratitude to wake up and be here with my soul still in a human body. We went to Portland, had a nice day, and took Genevieve to the airport that evening. Friday was over. It was a memory. Okay.

As I learned in my recovery, life was messy and I needed to accept that fact. Okay.

In looking at the events of May 18th, Here is how the lessons of my recovery came into play:

Acceptance. The accident occurred. I needed to accept the reality of the situation whether I liked it or not. Okay.

Surrender. I needed to accept that the accident was part of a bigger plan and that nobody owed me an explanation for why it took place. Okay, I surrender. Also, I needed to surrender that I was not in control. Okay, I surrender.

Gratitude. As we stood on the side of the road, all three of us and the other driver with no serious injuries and everybody alive, my heart swelled with gratitude, “Thank you. I am grateful to still be alive with my soul in a human being.”

Life gives us lessons. Last Friday was another lesson in the power of faith and self love. With faith and self love, I simply said, “Okay. I accept what happened. Clearly, I am not in control, and nobody owes me an explanation for why the accident happened. I am a precious being in a fragile life, and I am grateful for the opportunity of another day with my soul in a human being.”

These were life lessons that I learned that helped me reach my full recovery. Please do your best to learn these lessons as they bring you back into balance physically, mentally and spiritual.

You are worth it!!!

All my best,



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16 Responses to Fighting Parkinson’s, and abundant gratitude…and okay

  1. Linda Hsu says:

    So glad no one was hurt! I am grateful to know you, Howard.

    • Sushil Kapila says:

      Thank God dear Howard u n ur family along with driver are safe.
      What God does it is always acceptable since there is something nice behind the same to avoid bigger problems!
      We all express our gratitude to Almighty!

  2. Tery und Werni Brun says:

    Dear Howard, Sally and family

    Oh, how fortunate, we too are so happy that no one was hurt!!! The greatest thing is your behaviour, to accept and be grateful, you not only tell us this wisdom but practice it on yourself!!! Our admiration is huge and we are so grateful to have you and your family safe!!!

  3. Karol Klim says:

    Makes one realize that each moment of a day is a gift which shouldn’t be squandered. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  4. Karen in Ireland says:

    Hi Howard, fantastic living example of dealing with the dance of life. I remember not so long ago that you and Sally were in a different car accident and poor Sally got hurt. Thank God none of you got hurt this time but I would still pay attention to your necks as whiplash can take a while to kick in. I truly believe every bit of the life lessons that you are sharing here. Everything happens for a reason. One of my favourite sayings is ” if you want to give God a laugh, tell him your plans ” . It’s all about trust and as you say, we are part of a bigger picture and universal plan.
    Glad though that it is not your time to exit. God obviously has a lot more wonderful plans for you and your beautiful family.
    Big love my friend. Big love to all warriors.
    Karen xx

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you for sharing your lovely insight. Yes, we are grateful for the safety and protection of the Shifke family.

  5. Berni says:

    Very pleased that you are all safe.

    Berni x

  6. Lori Christian says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Sally!! Things didn’t go as planned for that day, but okay,
    no injuries!! You were all blessed and that is beautiful!! We are leaving on vacation
    today to Flathead Lake in Montana, we are grateful to be doing so and will be careful to watch out and avoid a problem situation on the road!

    Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone and blessing to you all!

    Lori Christian

  7. Karen and Don in Texas says:

    Thanks to God for a positive outcome on the accident and a pleasant celebration of Sally’s birthday in spite of the accident. Thanks, Howard, for showing/teaching the thoughts. This is an amazing example demonstrating a healthy way to process our thoughts. It is a battle, to locate and to eradicate the thoughts and thought processes that set us up for this disease. This way, it never takes root.

    Love and hugs to everyone

  8. Derek Killin says:

    Glad everyone is OK – even the driver who crashed into you

  9. Helen Gill says:

    Life is a blessing! Xx💖

  10. tu says:

    Glad you all are ok. Your teaching is so important for me to learn to accept things and grateful for what we have.

  11. Veronica Urquhart says:

    Thank God you are all ok Howard. The wisdom of Tolstoy says “The wise person thinks more about life than about death”. Obviously you have a deep gratitude for life which shows through your story. You are here for a reason we know and for that we owe you a sense of gratitude. We think we plan but God knows the plan. I believe we just have to play our part. Love to you and Sally.

    Veronica 🌱🌺

  12. Rita and Russ Detweiler says:

    Dear Howard,

    We are so glad you, Sally, Genevieve, and the other driver are all okay (a divine blessing) and amazingly that you had the presence of mind to accept and surrender to it all as it was happening. In your account you wrote “okay” as the next word after you described the accident. I find that remarkable because in the car accidents I have been in, I never had that presence of mind in that moment.

    It was only afterward that I could breathe a sigh of relief and thank God I was not injured. I attribute your being able to say this “okay” in the immediate moment to your daily practice for so many years now. What a priceless gift you have given yourself in this mindfulness tool which has now become an automatic habit. Something we can all aspire to.

    Thank you for all your blogs, Howard. I learn something from every one :).

    Rita and Russ

  13. Christiane from Germany says:

    Dear Howard,
    thanks for sharing this with our community. Once again: we cannot control the things that are happening in our life, but we can control our reaction to them!
    Blessings to you and your family…


  14. B says:

    Just read this post. Sorry to hear about you car incident but delighted all involved are ok. Much to be grateful for indeed. Keep well and safe future travels.

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