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.