For my children…. I love you with all my heart
I have spoken before in this Blog about how important family is to me. More so now since I was diagnosed with this condition I have christened Parkies. Time spent with my adult children and their children is incredibly important to me now.
This weekend I spent time in Wellington with my son and daughter-in-law and their three young sons. Something I don’t do nearly enough, but life being busy and living in different cities it is a fact of life. At one point – over a wine or two – we started reminiscing and talking about memories of my time at Broadcasting School and in radio. My son talked with warmth of those memories and I was touched to hear how special those memories seemed to be. I had almost forgotten some of the memories he brought up and it was heart-warming to hear him talk about them with such fondness.
We spent our last day of the weekend together out and about with extended family and it was a time to spend building new memories. The bond with my grandsons grows stronger and I hope they too will have good memories of family time together.
Over the weekend, it was natural that we talked a bit about my Parkinson’s and how I am doing and it was good that I could share with my son and daughter-in-law that right now I am in a good space. We talked about my Blog too and how much it means to me. How it helps me and how I hope it helps others. This Blog has meant so much to me over the 18 months since diagnosis. It has enabled me to work through some difficult times and to be in a place now where I feel I am doing well. A place where I can enjoy moments like this weekend and savour the joy of being with my family.
I have spoken to both my children recently and asked them if they will follow this journey that is my Blog. I don’t think either of them have realised how much it means and how it keeps me strong. I want them to know me, really know me as I go on through this life with Parkinson’s. It is an opportunity to share the person that I am now in comparison with the person I was pre-diagnosis, to the person I was shortly after diagnosis and first started this Blog. My early posts certainly had a different ‘flavour’ to where I am today where I feel a sort of peace within myself. An acceptance, but with a determination to maximise my opportunities for a good life in so many ways.
I know others with Parkinson’s who have chosen not to tell their children and family members of their diagnosis. When I hear this it saddens me. How will their children feel, I wonder, if they find out several years down the track that they did not have the opportunity to support their parent through this huge thing in their life? By hiding this fact from their children they deny themselves and their children the opportunity to know each other and be there for each other.
I don’t expect much from my children. I don’t expect them to ever be my carers. I don’t expect that I will be their primary focus. They have their own children to raise and care for. But to give them the opportunity to be there for me – in whatever way that fits for them – is the least I can do for them. I hope that by following my Blog that they will better understand me and also know that I am OK. That I am not hiding anything from them, as this Blog is pretty much an open door to my heart and soul.
I hope that others with Parkinson’s find an outlet such as this Blog. Perhaps writing a journal or a diary or some other way of processing their thoughts and feelings. I hope too that others find the courage to share their diagnosis with those who love and care for them. To give their family the opportunity to be part of the journey and in whatever way they can be part of their support system. For those who choose not to share this diagnosis, they deprive not only themselves but their children (or family) the opportunity to be there for them.
So, for my son and daughter. I love you more than words can say. All I ask is that we have the opportunity to share those precious memories together when we can. I hope that others can find a way to do so too. It is true the saying ‘No man(woman) is an island’ and what affects us, affects our families too. The more we share and know each other the better the outcome is for all.