a woman with a walker stands at a funeral

A Sad Way to Gain Perspective

Ever since the first onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, I’ve complained, crabbed, and mourned what I’ve lost from my earlier life.

Things I can no longer do

I’ll never drive again. So, I’ll never go shopping alone, something so sorely missed. I'll never stop trying not to be frustrated when someone doesn’t get everything on my grocery list. I’ll never go out on my own schedule, just needing to wait for someone else to have the time.

I’ll never walk without a walker. I’ll never walk long distances without needing a wheelchair. That’s not just Parkinson’s, mostly a trashed spine. I’ll never bend over to pick something up or stretch to grab something above me without fearing I’ll lose my balance and possibly fall.

So, I’ll never be able to clean house myself or get pots and pans out to cook. Living in a less than perfect house or waiting for help to cook dinner brings on sadness, anger, and frustration.

I’ll never be able to get something from the microwave without tremors that have me dropping it. I’ll never take a shower when there is no one home to help if I need it. I’ll never be able to go to the health club, something that made me feel healthy and alive.

So, there are far too many things the loss for which I mourn. However, they pale in comparison to my most recent loss.

A devastating loss

On December 5th, 2 of my daughters came to my house to tell me another daughter had died. They were telling me that my vibrant, 52-year-old daughter had passed away suddenly. To look at her you’d see a healthy, very fit woman.

"How could it be?" Children are supposed to outlive their mothers, especially mothers with debilitating diseases. Suddenly, all the things I mourned were replaced by a devastating loss, not only for me but so many others.

I can never hug her again. I will never feel joy when I see her smile. I’ll never hear her say, "I love you, Mom." Her twin will never celebrate a birthday with her. Her husband of 25-years faces life alone. Her adult children will never share weddings, college graduations or the birth of their children.

What is worth mourning

At her memorial, it didn’t matter that I used a walker. It didn’t matter how much help I needed to dress. It didn’t matter that my hands and legs shook as I stood to read her eulogy. It didn’t matter that someone needed to bring me food and drink from the buffet.

It only mattered that I will never again be with my beautiful, intelligent, loving daughter. A sad way of showing me what is really worth mourning.

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