A Blessed Life
No one I know wants to have Parkinson’s, including me. But sooner or later, life will put real challenges in front of all of us. When I think about the nine years since my diagnosis, I find that they’ve been some of the best of my life. Because of PD, I’ve been willing to open doors to a different kind of reality — not just walk by them.
While I always worked hard before Parkinson’s, most things came easily to me. With PD, “easily” is not an option. That humbled me and made me think. I came to the conclusion that Parkinson’s is not the end, but the beginning: of testing my own mettle, of recognizing that there are many things far crueler than PD in this world, of realizing that I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself.
I reached out to help where I could; I’m in the trenches helping other PWPs get information or obtain a walker or join a support group in the Rocky Mountain region. So many people I never would have met otherwise have become friends. I’m truly inspired by the twinkle in their eyes, their capacity to see humor in both good and bad times, their resolve to keep living life to the fullest. And I have the stability and comfort and love of a wonderful family and a partner who could have walked out but elected to stay.
Parkinson’s is a battle. But it’s a battle that energizes me and gives me new purpose. Don’t get me wrong: I have my fair share of not-so-good days. I’ve had setbacks to rebound from. But I’ve also gained insights that I hope made me a better man. My life is blessed.