My father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease today.

Everything stops when you hear a diagnosis like that. Literally. You don’t hear anything else, see anything else. That’s it. It’s surreal. The sound in my mother’s voice was well, pretty much undescribable, so I won’t try.

I called a friend of mine and asked him a lot of questions. Knowledge is power, right? I still didn’t feel any better.

Then I called my sister. I told her to meet me at my parents house.

My Dad was so happy to see us there together.

Then he went upstairs and broke down and cried with my Mom. They both came downstairs together. My Dad said “So, as it turns out there’s something wrong.” It would have been something we’d joke about if it hadn’t been so damn serious. For months, me and my sister have done what we do, pick on Dad, telling him he’s getting too slow for 53 years old and to go see a doctor’s for God’s sake. His one arm was weaker than the other, we thought a rotator cuff tear or something…we shut out anything worse.

And then my Dad did the most amazing thing a Dad could do. He took us in his arms and he cried. He said “I’m gonna have my cry.” I told him that I wanted him to know that we loved him and that he and Mom had always seen us through everything and that we would see him through this. And he said, ” I know … that’s why I’m not going to feel sorry for myself and I’m not afraid, because I know you guys love me and we’ll deal with it together as it comes.

Then we had our cry and then Dad sat back in his recliner like he always does and me, Mom and sister all sat and talked with him and laughed with him and life went on.

I can’t tell you how difficult it is to face one of your own parents mortality. There aren’t any words for that. Just tears. In the face of realizing that my Dad was only human, I also thought he was the strongest and bravest guy in the world.

My Dad, my hero.

Today is one of those days. those moments in life, where everything ceases to exist except one thing. The thing that matters. Life. Life and everything that comes with it. The good, the bad, the laughter, the tears. It’s one of those moments where you have such clarity about what matters and what doesn’t that you can’t believe you missed for so long.

Mommy … I see dead people

From the time he started talking, my youngest son has talked about things I can’t really explain.

He has told me that he died when he was a baby and that his other Mommy was sad.

He was sitting on a swing set once and started giggling and when I asked what was so funny, he said a spirit had pushed him on the swing.

Last night, was a little weirder. I woke up to him crying at 4am in the morning. He came into my room and told me he was scared and when I asked him why, he said, “Mommy, I see dead people“. I can’t explain how creepy this is in the middle of the night in a pitch dark room, but I choke back my need to freak out, and asked what he was talking about. He tells me that there was a spirit in his room and “he” looked mad. So, I give him a hug and tell him it’s ok and he says, “who’s that behind you?

This is the point where all the hair on my body stands on end and I don’t know whether to run from the room screaming or play the logical mother. I sat blinking at him, wide eyed as I mustered all the brave in me. I turn around to see …. nothing. Thinking about this now, had something, anything, been there…I believe I literally would have passed out.

We talked about it a little more today, with the lights on in every room of the house, of course and he is still insisting on the fact that he sees “spirits” all the time. I talked about how maybe the spirits are lost and don’t know where to go or what to do and maybe he should ask what he can do. He tells me he sees “him” in the bathroom too, I said, well say what you’d say to anyone in the bathroom, “What are you doing in here, I have to pee?” Then he got teary eyed and whispered, “What about the black ones” to which I replied, “Well, maybe he’s just dirty and that’s why he was in the bathroom ….bath time.

Ahhh…the never-ending parenting challenges.

More paranormal updates to come?