For some time now I’ve been employed in the process of writing a book on my life with Parkinson’s disease. In this process, my mind has discovered many forgotten incidences in this struggle, so much so that I felt my old blog post on the subject seem severely lacking. Also, I’m probably a better writer than I was back then. So I’ve decided to post excerpts from the book to bring my narrative up to date. These will appear once a week or so as my other writing also continue. Thank you- JC
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” -Robert M. Pirsig
When I was a child, each summer my mother would pack up the old ford and take us kids along with my Grandmother to visit relatives. Mostly, people we hardly knew, it was like we were on display every summer and each year our extended family could observe our progress. One such person I remotely remember seeing just once, I’m not sure if he was an uncle or where his branch of the family trees located. But what I did notice was his hands, they continuously shook like they were a separate part of his body that couldn’t be controlled and had a life of its own. Well as one can imagine, I was curious and I asked my mother and she told me it was Parkinson’s disease.
I never forgot that one scene in my mind of hands shaking uncontrollably, but other than that I went about the business of growing up. It wasn’t until I heard Michael J. Fox had Parkinson’s that the sight of shaking hands came to the forefront of my life again. And what I immediately deduced was that Michael J Fox was young and my relative was elderly. Still, I treated this like so many other random thoughts, out of sight out of mind. It would be years before my story would begin in earnest.
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