Parkinson's Disease: A Blessing in Disguise?

Blessings. Anytime I hear someone say this word, I can hear my nearly 90 year old pap singing:

“Showers of blessings,
Showers of blessings we need:
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.”

Back in my grandfather’s time, this was a contemporary hymn. In his day, it may have been comparable to that of “I Can Only Imagine” by Bart Millard, whose lyrics are sung by Mercy Me and recently the story of a beautiful major motion picture. However, “Showers of Blessing” was written in the late 1800’s by Major Daniel Whittle. My pap would sing it louder than anyone else seated in the little country church which still stands among those West Virginia hills today.

For Pap, I am sure as he closed his eyes and belted out his blessing, he was thinking of his many “mercy-drops”, including hay harvested before the storm, hot soup on the stove, cattle fed by nightfall, and a family warm and fed. Sure, I even would imagine he was counting his “special” jug of hard cider hidden down in the cellar as a “blessing” or even his favorite holiday celebration complete with West Virginia “tube steak” (which took me years to realize they were just Oscar Meyer hot dogs)!

Parkinson's disease symptoms, a blessing?

So what does “blessings” have to do with Parkinson's disease (PD)? PD, a degenerative, neurological, chronic illness would appear to have not a blessing to name, right? After all, littered with the increasing symptoms from resting tremor to muscular stiffness and rigidity, PD surely never would rank up there “as a thing conducive to happiness or welfare”. Actually, the Mayo Clinic even adds such symptoms, or “blessings,” to include daytime sleepiness, nightmares, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, soft speech, apathy, to name a few.

Showers of symptoms
Showers of symptoms, who needs
Them? Making me drop what I’m holding
But for less blessings I plead!

LOL! Now, that's more like it, right? Want to know something? I don’t have Parkinson’s disease, but it arrived at my house in the hills ten years ago. And, guess what happened? Blessings! That’s right! You will probably think I’m crazy, but each day for me is a new blessing because my husband has PD. Sure, it took some time to realize, but from Sharon in Myrtle Beach, Karl and Angela in VA, Gretchen and Michael in Florida, Sam from Wisconsin, Kelly in Chicago, to John down in Atlanta, and many more...along with our fabulous doctors, friends in foundations, and advocates all over, these PD folks have blessed me.

My biggest blessing

And, my biggest blessing that came from Parkinson’s disease, is having my hotthubby home! He said this to WDMV reporter, Justina Latimer, in a recent interview before we participated in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in March 2018, “For me, having Parkinson’s disease is like a blessing in disguise.” I was so tickled with our interview! Want to see? Here is the link: Advocates for Parkinson's Disease Go To DC.

Your turn!

I am curious to know how Parkinson’s disease has “blessed” you. Please, shower me with your blessing stories. Blow me away with blessing…..blast off your blessing here; and, be honest! Tell me the truth. Some days, I get it...feel far from a blessing, right? Tell me what sucks too!

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