NWPF

PD Community BlogRead Blog

Strength. Courage.

Friday January 16, 2015

I'll never forget the physical strength of my mother. She would care for elderly people in our home for many years. She is a slight woman but was, in her day, incredibly strong. I would watch her reposition large, bed-ridden men by herself, and only after going into nursing myself, did I appreciate the strength she possessed.

In the twilight years of his life, my father faced heart disease, diabetes and Parkinson's. While I watched him struggle, even suffer, under the burden of these diseases, I witnessed a man of profound courage.

In his book, David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell says that no one just has courage, but rather it is something that is learned. We learn courage after we face harsh challenges and discover that we can survive. He used as his analogy the bombing of London in World War II. Individuals all but lost their fear of dying after surviving the massive bombardments of the German air force day after day. The panic, the fear, the scrambling for shelter would dissipate in those who continually survived. They often came to simply believe they could and would survive.

An old adage holds that “everything you ever really need to know you learned in kindergarten.” I was reminded of this on leg three of The Amazing Race Canada. Tim Jr. and I had come in last and would normally have been eliminated from the show; however, this was a non-elimination leg and we were saved. What came to mind was my teacher’s admonition of “Timmy, just do your best.”  My best. If you had the opportunity to watch The Amazing Race Canada you know that our best was never very pretty.

Strength. Courage. My best. Parkinson's. Seemingly disparate, disconnected words.

We too often speak of what we cannot do, what PD has taken. We too seldom speak of the strength of those who choose to live; the courage of those who suffer yet survive.

I have come to understand that when it comes to Parkinson's, it's not about winning all the time. I know that many of us with PD get up many mornings and feel like we have lost, that we have been robbed of some function, some ability. However, it is about having the Strength to get up and do our best. It's about having the Courage to be content with what our best produces. We can almost always do more than we think we can. Life so often shocks us as to where our best can take us.

It's a paradox for me to completely understand what my best looks like when PD has so fundamentally altered what my best can be. Yet I am confident that herein lies our success with this disease: the strength to accept what my best is today, to simply give my best, and to be content with what my best produces. As counter intuitive as this is to my desire to focus on what I've lost, I have found that there is real peace to be had here. There is an acceptance of what my reality is now, along with a continual push to find the outer limits of my best.

A day comes, after the panic, the fear and the scrambling for answers, when we realize “I can do this, I can survive.”

Moreover, I will survive, I will get up today, live my best and thrive.

It's a new year, a time to turn a new page. A time to choose to live your best, with the strength to give your best, and the courage to be content with what your best produces.

Tim Sr.

Strength & Courage

WANT TO BE INSPIRED?

I would like to introduce you to a gentleman who lives the kind of Strength and Courage we are talking about this month; his name is Dan Mcguire. You can read a blog I did about Dan HERE and see Dan's Facebook page HERE

Tim Hague Sr.
NWPF Blogger

Recent Posts

Autoimmune Diseases
The Most Interesting Men in the World
What Dreams May Come…
Book Review: on Carrying the Black Bag
Make Anger Your Ally

Archives

2017 2016
Lies That Parkinson's Disease Told Me
Managing the Holiday Blues 2016
Who Was That Masked Man?
The Rain Is Shining — A Thanksgiving Message
Book Review - H.O.P.E.: Four Keys to a Better Quality of Life for Parkinson's
David Leventhal: Dancer, Teacher, Community Leader, Humanitarian, Movement Specialist
Meet Emily!
Rhonda Foulds, Outrunning Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: The Perapatetic Pursuit of Parkinson Disease
Staff Stories - Melanie
Snake Oil, the Cure for Parkinson's.
Book Review: Nan Little
Life's a Lot Better with NWPF
Tipping Points
Book Review: Natural Therapies for Parkinson's Disease
Dare to Attend a Support Group
Ten for David
Time After Time: Kim Farmer's Story
The Glass is Half-Full
Book Review: Reverse Parkinson's Disease
Contentment
Parkinson's and Free Will
A positive attitude is everything
Book Review - Lucky Man: A Memoir
Alexithymia, the Parkinson’s Get Out of Jail Free Card
We Make Them Together: Major Decisions in Caregiving
Boxing is cool
Safety with Style: House Renovations you can hold on to
Book review: On My Own
Shaken to the Core
Isolation and Parkinson's Disease, The hiding and the hidden
Camp Brian Interview
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Book review: Shake Well Before Use
Notes on Acceptance
"Advice" to a person with Advancing Parkinson's Disease
Needed: New Parkinson’s Vocabulary
Caregiving: Ken's Story
A Well-Tested Testimonial, or Spin for Parkinson's
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
Caregiving: Susan's Story
Rock Steady Boxing: Emily
Book Review: My Degeneration, A Journey Through Parkinson's
The Marble Halls of Power
Safety with Style: House design ideas you can hold on to
2015
ROCKIN’ AROUND THE GROCERY CART
Managing the Holiday Blues
Book Review: A Complete Guide for Patients and Families
The joke is on Parkinson's
I don't always like groups, but when I do...
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story (Continued)
Rock Steady Boxing: Fred Hyde
Present Moment: A Continued Conversation
Book Review: Navigating Life with Parkinson's Disease
JBC + DBS: A Mostly-Love Story
Present Moment
On the scent of Parkinson’s disease
Harold Allen (Hal) Newsom
The 2016 World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, Oregon is Fast Approaching: Make Plans to Attend
Flowers on Dr. Starr's Tie
Leading the life of malicious whimsy
Listen: Unlocking Parkinson's Disease
Book Review: If I Can Climb Kilimanjaro, Why Can't I Brush My Teeth?
The Evolution of HOPE
QUIZ: How well do you know your Parkinson’s Disease?
Living with Hope
Notes on Hope
Tug, tug, tug
Denial on Trial
Flowers in Our Hair
Resilience: Bouncing Back from Adversity
Summer Travel
Tina Sawyer Steps Up Fundraising in Seaside
The uncooperative patient
To be in June
Pressure Sores
Caring for a Spouse Living with PD
Life Lessons
Doc Parkinson - A Eulogy
Boom Go Parkinson’s Costs
From the Depths of the Cupboards: Pumpkin Bars
Doctor's Visits
Get Moving!
Choosing a shared burden
Our Brain's "Negativity Bias" Part 2
Outside of Language
Managing Constipation in Parkinson’s Disease
Replacements
Finding Time for Caregiver Care
The Helplessness Antidote
Examples of living your best
10 exercise tips for people with Parkinson's
Bit on Basketball
Suggestions for the Shaken
Parkinson's Action Network (PAN) Report
Our Brain’s “Negativity Bias”
Living for a Cure
Three Huge Changes for People with Parkinson's
Caregiving, the Next Level
Parkinson's Pundit
Perseverance
Making Spousal Relationships Work
Parkinson’s and Luck
Strength. Courage.
Resolve to be a Better Caregiver!
Update from the Parkinson's Action Network
Strategies to Achieve our New Year’s Resolutions and Goals
Movement is Medicine
2014 2013 2012
Most popular posts of 2012
What are you grateful for this holiday season?
How can I tell whether medications are wearing off or Parkinson’s disease is progressing?
Can a person with Parkinson’s give blood?
When is the right time to start Levodopa?
Can acupuncture help PD symptoms?
Support the Caregiver in your Life
Power of the mind to move treatment further
Top 10 Foods for Parkinson’s (and counting!)
How can I prevent dizziness?
What can you tell me about laser light therapy and Parkinson’s
What is music therapy?
Should I take Coenzyme Q10 for my Parkinson’s?
How do I treat my cough at night?
Parkinson’s fitness programs need to be tailored to the individual to get results
Carrying the Olympic Torch for Parkinson’s today
Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s. What about other foods?
Facts about depression
How can I find a good doctor who is knowledgeable about PD and is caring as well? My doctor does not always listen.
Help for constipation
Sex, Intimacy and Parkinson’s
Does DBS affect speech?
Walking and balance can significantly impact quality of life- but is treatable.
Depression is common with Parkinson’s
Ode to Parkinson’s- Poem from Member
Music Enhances Brain Activity
How does posture change with Parkinson’s?
What is important to you?
Are hallucinations caused by Parkinson’s?
Hot Off the Press – Neupro approved by FDA
How do I find a Parkinson’s physical therapist to keep me exercising?
Does Azilect slow disease progression?
Manage nausea from medicines
Is delaying medication harmful?
Advice for newly diagnosed
Is Parkinson’s Hereditary?
Medication Timing
Is gambling a side effect of medicine?
Medication Assistance
Does stress cause Parkinson’s?
When to see a physical therapist
FDA approves DATScan
Coconut Oil
Protein’s effect on medicine
Restless Leg Syndrome