Thursday, June 13, 2013

"Eff" Parkinson's

I’m ashamed.

It all began with me feeling sorry for myself. I was consumed with myself and the loss of someone I had believed and hoped was “for real;” someone who would be in my life forever. Then, I started thinking of all the ways in which I had not been a great friend to the wonderful people who stick with me no matter what. I started thinking of how I could’ve been a better wife . . . a better girlfriend . . .  And then I started thinking about how I could’ve been a better daughter, sister, niece, cousin to my family. It was all about ME. Poor, poor JillyG.

A few weeks ago, life slapped me hard – very hard.  But it didn’t just slap me.  It slapped the people who in no way, shape, or form deserve to be slapped . . . my parents.

I am extremely, extremely fortunate to have grown up in a happy, well-adjusted, harmonious family. Sure, my early years were tumultuous, due to abandonment, selfishness, and lies on the part of one individual. Then, the universe decided to bless me, my mom, and my younger sister with a savior – my dad.

My dad – oh, I can’t do him justice with my blogger words, but I can say that he is one of the most selfless, caring, loving, inspiring, motivating, smart, funny, amazing individual to ever grace this earth. His love for my mom transferred to her two toddler girls and so began our family (and eventually a later addition, my brother). My dad gave me a life that every girl dreams of. He and my mom never fought (well, at least not in front of us kids). I experienced true love, respect, and tolerance through my parents. We laughed so, so much. We sang. We camped. We spent much time in Hersey, PA. We learned about values and responsibility. We learned that disappointing our parents was much worse than being grounded or slapped. We were held accountable for our actions. We lived. We loved.
Then, Parkinson’s happened. Fuck Parkinson’s. It happened to the one person who LEAST deserves it – my dad. He lived with it fine for a long time. We even joked about it. Then….more abandonment. More lies. More disappointment. And, the disease accelerated. And we were not; are not prepared.

I looked at my dad a few weeks ago, and while I noticed a bit of a weight gain (especially when pushing him in his chair), he seemed to be enjoying himself and my lousy singing during a night out of karaoke. Then, the next day, everything changed. I looked at my dad and . . . Fuck Parkinson’s.
My dad is still my dad, but he is not – if that makes sense. I know he loves me. I know he loves my mom. And I know my mom loves him. But, but – my heart is breaking. His quality of life has diminished greatly. For someone who has lived his life with so much love and laughter, I am so, so, so angry that this is how it is going to end. HE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS, AND NEITHER DOES MY MOTHER! Fuck Parkinson’s!

I am dedicating the rest of my life to helping in any way that I can to find and fund a cure for this disease .  . .  to help not only the victims, but also their caregivers  . . . beginning with a 5K charity run on August 25th in Southern California. More information will be available soon, and it would be awesome if you want to help in any way.
I was ashamed. Now, thanks (again) to my amazing parents, I have motivation and encouragement to stop feeling sorry for myself and to make a difference – something they have always and will always remind me to do. FUCK PARKINSON’S!!!


SirenSong65 said...

I always like finding out about the things I have in common with acquaintances. It queues up deeper discussion. But I have to say, this is one thing that I really wish I could not relate to. My mom passed away from Parkinson's close cousin Alzheimer's last year. Actually almost one year exactly. But I lost her a long time before that. I was so close with her, and then did not see her for too long and didn't understand what I was hearing on the phone... And by the time I saw her again, she was just gone. Lived another few years but she was no one I had ever known. Most painful thing i have ever been through. So ya, Fuck Parkinson's and Fuck Alzheimer's, and go gett'em Jill! My heart hurts for you, and I admire your determination to work for a cure. <3

Aunt C said...

Hey Jilly G., My sweet;

I totally agree with you! The people that you and I love that are most affected by this disgusting disease certainly don't deserve it. Why do bad things happen to good people? But the part that I do not agree with is you could have been a better blah, blah, blah. I don't think that there is a better daughter than you(and I have some inside info on this)and your parents would agree. Who you have been to them and all you have done for them is so appreciated by them. It speaks to how you feel. So, bottom line - we can all strive to be better; daughters, sisters, blah, blah, blah. Hopefully we succeed. But the most awesome success would be to Kick Parkinson's ass. So: FUCK PARKINSONS - YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!

Barbara M said...

Dear Jill, So beautifully written. So heartbreakingly sad. It should make any of us ashamed to take anything for granted. Especially the ones we love. Thanks for the reminder.