Day 2

Standard

Since I am in no shortage of things to talk about, I am not going to waste any time deciding what I want to say and how I want to say it. So, I will start with my dad.
My dad, who is only 60 years old, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008. This was, obviously, a traumatic blow. I was newly- married, happy and feeling  for the first time, that things were right in my world. This news was not in my plans. But, my father, while scared, seemed to take it somewhat in stride. I think in some ways, it was kind of a relief. He had been experiencing some health issues for a while and finally there was some kind of explanation.
My father’s Parkinson’s has not progressed slowly, rather, it has come on like a wildfire, throwing all of us for a loop. The symptoms and their impact have been scary for us and I can only imagine, daunting and seemingly insurmountable at times for him. I say “seemingly”, because you would never know it. My father has pushed through each symptom with a grace that I could only ever wish for. Me, I complain…my father, he says “you are not gonna hold me down”.
The reason this is noteworthy is because….I never realized this about him. And, looking back, I guess I should have. He and my mother married at 17 (they have since divorced: more on that later *maybe*) and throughout his career my father rose through the ranks of every company he worked for. He graduated from college around the same time I graduated from high school and looking back, his work ethic and commitment were surely a pre-cursor to the effort he is using to tell Parkinson’s Disease to sod off.
Additionally, he was diagnosed with Lung cancer late last year. Yes, he was a smoker, go ahead and judge if you must. Again, my father approached this with grace and a clear head. It was decided that due to his Parkinson’s and the debilitating effects of it, surgery was the best option. Chemo and radiation would be used after, only if necessary, because his body likely would not tolerate it very well. So, in early March, he underwent the surgery…and the recovery was rough. One full month in the hospital. Never once in that hospital did he complain. He joked, made the whole staff love him with his jokes and kindness and provided all of us with the comfort of knowing that he was not going down without a fight.
My father’s new wife, Lisa (more on that later *definitely!*) is his biggest ally and her commitment and love for my father have proven to me what love really is. The day of his surgery was tense and long and his stay in the hospital full of very scary ups and downs. What I saw from her was tenderness and a tenacious drive to make sure that everyone who interacted with him understood his needs and how his other health issues came into play with his healing.
What I have learned from all of this is that each day we make a decision on how we are going to approach life in general, and each other, specifically. We (those of us of sound mind* more on those who aren’t later*) get to choose how we interact and what we take out of each interaction. Life is too short to piss and moan about what we don’t have. In cherishing and celebrating what we do have, we “rescue” each other with love and therefore, have the opportunity to make the world that much better. In choosing to look at the bright side (which you must first believe is there), we have the chance to spread joy and love, kindness and light.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s