The following post was written last year. Lessons learned, even from a three-year old child at the time, can put things in perspective for us. As to priorities, “out of the mouths of babes” is the best I can say.
As I prepared to go to Houston for a second opinion after having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, I sat with my grandson Landon, whom was three at the time, out by the sidewalk giving him some information he needed to know. PopPop and Nawnie were going to be gone for a few days and I would not be able to pick him up from “school”. I mentioned that because my Midland doctor wanted me to see a special doctor and I was going to get some new medicines that would probably help my shaking, that this was going to be a good thing. It took him a bit to put things in perspective and said that he knew that PopPop went to the doctor because he shakes a lot and he, Landon, went to the doctor to get suckers and stickers.
Our conversation then turned to more pressing matters. Landon was holding a stick with a string attached and mentioned that he was hoping to catch a fish while sitting on the curb. I need to mention that there was no water anywhere in sight. As our neighbors started arriving home from work, each would look over, would pause, say hello, and ask what we were up to. The response was that Landon was hoping to land the elusive “curb” fish, and that he wasn’t going to give up until he found one and caught it. Needless to say that some of the responses we received were not too favorable in our quest to find that elusive fish. This young man, whom with his dad, knows all about the world of fishing and the best way to land the big one, would wave them away and get back to the task at hand.
At that point I realized the irony of the situation that I was in when it came to focusing on the need for a commitment to helping find a cause and a cure for this disease. We, as part of the PD community find ourselves keeping the hope that some day, the elusive “curb” fish, in the form of a cure can be found.
We find ourselves with that eternal optimism when new rain brings water flowing down the curb in the form of a news release telling us how much closer we are to finding a cause and a cure.
Like Landon, we keep waiting, knowing that what seems impossible, will one day be possible, if we only keep doing our part while participating in clinical trials and knowing that researchers are doing their part to make this dream a reality. In the meantime, this special little boy continues to be his PopPop’s biggest cheerleader to make me feel better and helps advocate for Parkinson’s Disease awareness by telling people who shake, that they need to see a doctor to get some medicine.
We will wait with the patience of that little fisherman for the flow of information down the curb and I know some day we can say, like Landon will, that he caught the elusive “curb” fish, and he will probably say, “I told you I wouldn’t give up!”. Just as we won’t give up.