That’s how I would describe my mother. Like most mothers, for the majority of my life I’ve always thought she was indestructible. I mean let’s be real–she’s the one who will console you when you’ve scraped your knee, have fallen off your bike. She takes care of you when you’re sick (no matter if you’re 1000 miles away), encourages you to go after that job. You know.
In September, my family’s life changed. Forever. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s what Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali were diagnosed with many years ago . The disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Basically, your brain stops producing dopamine, which affects your motor system.
My perspective on life has changed, once again. Family is a priority. Spending time with my mom, though we haven’t always gotten along in the past, is a priority. Exercising has become a priority. Checking in with my brother is a priority. Laughing and not taking life too seriously is a priority. Working hard at my job is a priority.
When my mom told me on the phone, she was very matter-of-fact. (Some things never change.) She told me, “I know you’re the emotional child, so please don’t take this on yourself. This is my fight.” Needless, to say she’s right. I’m the emotional child. Sometimes I cry when I’m home because I know life will forever be different. Her quality of life will gradually decrease, but not her spirit.
There is no cure to Parkinson’s, and one of the ways to manage it is through exercise–which if you know my mom isn’t too hard to do.
In February, my mom and brother are going to run a half-marathon (my dad and I are opting out due to health reasons and work, but will be at the finish line with milkshakes, per Stefan’s request, cheering loudly) to raise money for research to help find a cure for Parkinson’s.
In order to run the race, they need to raise money. This is where you, faithful friends, come into the picture. If you feel moved, follow the link and help my mom and brother raise money for this. Every dollar amount counts.
I believe in miracles. I still believe that my mom is a fighter. She will always be and she will fight this disease with all her might. I believe she can beat it. If you have your doubts–you haven’t met my mom.
Brave, courageous, strong, dauntless, determined, fearless. These are more words that describe my mom. She’s not just a fighter. She’s more than that. She’s everything.