I’ve been thinking ever since Emily sent me her blog post the other night. In it, she says that when she heard my voice the night I found out that Dad had Parkinson’s that she decided she would be the strong one for me and my mom.
I almost laughed when I read that. Not because I’m a horrible person, but because of the irony of it all. I’ve been wrestling with that feeling for years now since Dad’s diagnosis, and I think it’s something we all do when we find out that someone we love is sick.
In the back of my mind, I think I’ve always thought I had to be the strong one for my family. It’s easy, I guess, when you’re the only 16 hours away. But I thought that Mom’s already lost her parents, and her sister, and this is her husband — the love of her life. And Emily, I know she’s strong. But I want to protect her, always have.
I assumed that in the years to come, as Dad gets sicker, I’d move home. I’m not sure what would be there for me in Florida, job-wise, nor do I know how soon this would be, because Dad’s doing so well these days.
But I’ve always known that when it comes down to it, I want to be closer and do more.
When I was talking to Dad the other day after he read Emily’s post, he asked me something about Em feeling the need to be the strong one. I said, don’t we all feel that way? And he wrote back, Not me!
I’m sure Mom, Emily and I all want to be the strong one. And we all are, in different ways, and in our being their for each other.
I’m also sure this is something other families realize when they face similar situations. We’re not unique.
Sitting here now, I laughed again thinking that I started this blog for us to reach out to you. To show other families that they’re not alone. And while, I hope this post (and all posts) do that, I didn’t think I ever realized that this is also therapeutic for my family.
We’re pretty open with each other, I’d say. But I can tell you that I never knew that Emily thought she had to be strong for me.
And funny thing is, Dad is the strongest one of us all. It’s because of him and his attitude toward this disease that he’s motivated the rest of us to be strong. It’s also kinda my middle name, which is a big deal.