For My Father,
You hated having Parkinson’s. You couldn’t stand that it limited your movements, that you had to ask for help. I remember you drove to a meeting in Van Nuys one day this past April and you needed help from a friend to get up from a chair. It was one thing to need help from family, but to need it from a friend made the illness more “real.” You felt humiliated that day. Stunned and humiliated.
My heart broke knowing that you felt badly about yourself. Having Parkinson’s was never about you! It’s just what it was. It didn’t make you bad. It didn’t make you a loser. If anything, it made you a winner. You NEVER gave up. Not once. Long before others would have stopped, you kept going, always striving to find a way to have independence.
You NEVER gave up. Perhaps that’s where my drive comes from. Perhaps that’s the story I need to tell. I’ve been wanting to share more of you with my world, but wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to say……until now. You NEVER gave up. You always wanted to live life as fully as you could, right up until the end.
I have that same drive–I get that from you. That drive propels me to do two (yes even three) yoga classes in one day. It motivates me to go hiking in new places, to discover new wonders I never imagined I’d see, to jump all the way down the rabbit hole head first–I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I know I can go further in this life than I ever imagined, and I look forward to you being there with me, in my heart, every moment, just as you were with me last Tuesday when I went to Disneyland to celebrate your life and to experience the truth of Walt Disney’s vision: “I think most of all what I want Disneyland to be is a happy place….where parents and children can have fun, together.”
Last Tuesday we did have fun together. I know you were with me. I dressed as your Princess, just as I always have been and always will be. I love you Dad!