By Tim Hague Sr.
There is something about a particular conversation around Parkinson’s that I occasionally find somewhat challenging.
I know that we among the Parkinson’s community are not alone in this form of conversation I am alluding to, but of course ours is more personal than the others. I also accept the heart felt yearning that gives rise to it. I hear the refrain regardless of what ailment is being represented and whether the speaker be the charity, the foundation or the persons suffering from it.
It is the ever-present need to find a cure.
Before I go too far here I know I run the risk of sounding like I’m off my nut, but I trust you will walk with me just a way down this road.
The simple reality is that we as human kind have not cured much. For example; what is the first medical cure that leaps to your mind as you read this? We have made astonishingly amazing strides towards wiping out many diseases and eradicating various scourges from the earth but can’t quite say we’ve cured much. The purpose of my broaching this subject is not to suggest that we should do anything less than to relentlessly pursue a cure for Parkinson’s. By all means let us pursue a cure.
But first, let us relentlessly pursue life.
I’ve heard it spoken of, and have felt it myself, this depression of sorts that stems from the question; ‘When? When will they cure this thing?’ And then, at times, the depression gives way to hopelessness. ‘Will it ever happen in my lifetime?’ ‘Will my disease progress too far for it to ever matter?’
I fear that there are times when we get the matter turned all around and allow what should be of paramount importance to slip to the back. We become so focused on what we wish we could be, have, or become that we lose sight of all that is. I often fear that we have become so fixed on pursuing a future state that we neglect our current need to live life to the full.
My son, Tim Jr., gave me the heads up that he was making a quick trip home from the east coast a few weeks past but did not want me to tell his mom. He wanted to surprise her. The real surprise he said was that he and my daughterin-law, Kara were coming home a year early. They are going to finish their degrees back at home.
He walked into the house and met us all at the supper table. Of course his mom, my wife, cried tears of surprise and joy as she sought an explanation. He told us of their decision to move home, this April (!) and that they were going to buy a house. Bam! It all seemed so much we were stunned with feelings of delight and gratitude.
Then he handed us a little gift bag.
Inside the bag was a children’s book ‘Grandma, Grandpa and Me’ by Mercer Mayer and on the inside cover it says, ‘Hope you’re ready…Grandma and Grandpa!’ It’s our first grand baby and I’m going to be a grandpa.
I had a really lousy couple of days recently and it seems I spend more time dealing with non motor symptoms of Parkinson’s than motor. Some days are just bleak. And then came hope. In the birth of a little baby comes hope. ‘Hope you’re ready…’.
I am ready. I’m ready to live for this little grand baby, to be alive and present. To watch him or her grow and spoil them terribly every second of the way. For today and many months to come this will be all I need. Yours may not be a new grand baby, but I encourage you to name what it is that gives you life, that stirs your soul.
Do I hope and work for a cure for this disease called Parkinson’s? Sure, and I will take it if and when it comes. However, that pursuit will forever remain distant to the pursuit of living a full life filled with joy and contentment.
In the meantime, should you need me you’ll find me out at the park living life with my grandkid! Leave your need for a cure for just a while. Come join us.
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