“Time waits for no man,” “Time marches on,” “Live for Today” are sayings that we hear from time to time. For those who know me, I don’t worry about the future very much, or so I say. The truth is I am constantly reminded that life and time are precious. But I refuse to spend time worrying about tomorrow to the extent I lose what I do have, today.
Many years ago I was talked into forming a Parkinson’s support group. I was afraid to do that because I didn’t want to “See the Future” as I met patients who were farther along the Parkinson’s journey than I was. But I was surprised by what I got in return for reaching out to those in need.
It was much more than I ever expected, a sense of community that comes immediately upon meeting a fellow journeyer. I found as we talked about symptoms and challenges, there was mutual understanding and a calming sense that “We were not alone.” I learned very quickly that time was not the sole factor defining the daily small losses of physical abilities. So, my approach was to take the best of each day and build on it and to cram as much into each day as I could.
I spend a lot of time raising money to find the cure. As soon as one event is finished, we start the next. We will find the cure, I have no doubt, but “Time marches on.”
This last month has challenged my beliefs and optimism. During the last 30 days, four members of our support group have passed away, in addition to the father of some people we just met at the Florida Summit of the Tour de Fox. This loss is disheartening, and freaky.
Sunday night was the hardest because it was the first person with Parkinson’s that I met after being diagnosed. But in those dark moments of grief, my family members were there for me. Both Emily and Kate called at the same time, and with a little help from Mom, they supported me and helped me realize what I was going through. The beast had raised its ugly head and they were my shields and sword to get back to a good place.
These men were all good people, who faced their challenges with grace and humor. Knowing them has enriched my life. I know that no matter how much pain and loss I experience as a result of losing fellow PD journeyers, it is worth it just to have known them for an instant.
So where do we go from here? Forward into the future, living each day to the fullest, pushing as hard as we can to find a cure quickly so other don’t have to suffer.
To Shelly, Richard, Curtis, Hubert, and Vic rest in peace. To your care partners, we are still here for you 24/7.
TWO SHOES ON AGAIN.