Four letter word……Help!

In a family of 12 you learn very quickly the meaning of the word HELP. Help your sister tie her shoe. Help drive your brother to basketball. Help your mom by doing the dishes. Sometimes you knew you were “helping” by not asking for anything – because your mom and dad may be consumed with something else. I am not a stranger to the word or concept of lending a helping hand. As a child I witnessed my dad help complete strangers. I recall hearing, “Mike, why are you late tonight?” “I helped someone who needed a lift somewhere.” “Who dad?” “Nobody I knew, just someone down on his luck.” My dad’s quiet, humbling kindness was always there and from my mom, the same. She would also throw in, after a search of something missing, “say a special prayer to St. Anthony”– the patron of lost things.

Back Bend Demonstration

Back Bend Demonstration

As a mother I witness help. Libby helping Hadley master a back bend – lesson I hear – You can do anything! Libby helping Hadley learn to read – lesson I hear – I know you are smart and capable AND worth my time. Libby teaching Hadley the rules of tennis and life – lesson I hear – I will always be here for you if you need anything . Hadley schooling us all on her made up knock knock jokes – lesson I hear – It’s important to always laugh. A recent favorite of mine… “Hadley, this is what you do if someone makes fun of dad”. (which unfortunately has happened) Lesson I hear – Siblings understanding strength and unity.

Learning a Back Bend

Learning a Back Bend

As an adult I’ve helped. I make an attempt to help families, both that I know and who are complete strangers. I volunteer my time, thoughts and resources – all of which I know I can do more and should. I am trying to being an advocate for Parkinson’s. One of the manifestations of the disease is a quiet voice and I am happy to lend mine for the cause. I try to help my own family build the tightest indestructible wall of love, that no one OR disease can break.

H E L P

But this four letter word has been haunting my soul. I am an avid reader, lately, not as much for pleasure but for research. The Michael J Fox Foundation published a Facebook post that encouraged people to “share” or comment. Most were lengthy compelling stories about life challenges and changes. I read them all but when I close my eyes at night I still see one mans response. It was four simple letters – one simple statement and if I were being completely honest, a desperate plea. It simply read “Help”.

Today I feel like asking. Help us find sanity. Help us find patience. Help us find peace and if I could channel my mother, St. Anthony, Help us find a cure!

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5 thoughts on “Four letter word……Help!

  1. Help. A small but such a profound and powerful word. Sometimes my mood turns dark. I was reading a man’s blog who posted a Parkinson’s diary that enabled me to dig deep into the dark feelings inside of myself that I feel in having Parkinson’s disease. They are unpleasant but necessary as part of dealing with it. I sit up at midnight taking my final dose of Mirapex of the day and in the silence of my dining room I think about the dying neurons in my brain. All day, every day they continue to die as my functions slowly slip away. This is a bad dream? Oh remove this disease from me let me be normal again. Help me, someone save me take me out of the dark pit called Parkinson’s. Help! It’s part of the process facing the darkness too. I hope the man with the diary emerges. I approach the darkness by speaking honestly about my feelings.

  2. I talked to an old friend of mine last night that I hadn’t spoken to in several years after the two of us lost touch. I wrote her a letter since I had lost her phone number and told her of my devastating diagnosis of young onset Parkinson’s Disease and that 2013 has been the toughest year of my life. She commented on how I don’t sound like I used to my voice and speech affected by the disease. She told me not to worry that Michael J. Fox was going to save me and cure Parkinson’s. I said honey I think if there’s a cure out there, he will definitely find it. Hold on, hope and HELP may be in our future!

  3. And to add one more thing to the topic of help , the worst thing above all of the unforgiving symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease is the slowing down. Everything takes much more time and effort. Don’t want to ask for help but sometimes I have to. Besides having short term memory problems, I am now noticing a slowing of my thinking in addition to movement. Devastating. Just sit staring blankly as I try to think and the thoughts come slowly. The drowsiness of Mirapex aggravates the slowed thinking which I had before I started the medication. It’s hard to admit you’re not the same anymore and need help.

    • Help wouldn’t be so important if there was a little more understanding in the process!. I am a firm believer in education. Because the judgement won’t stop until the compassion starts. And the compassion will never exist without understanding. Those are the things I can help with. That and hoping for the cure… but that goes without saying!

  4. Hello it’s Deborah Jeffries from Stamford, CT again. You’re right about education. Prior to my being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, I knew very little about the disease. I’ve made a commitment to research because knowledge is power and it gives me back some control over my life. Compassion is lacking in our society. When I venture out I’m stared at because I walk very slow and tremor. I’m also pushed off the sidewalk by self-centered business people who have no respect for the disabled. I never imagined being disabled ten years ago but I always respected people who were based on my upbringing. I have my moments of darkness, but decided that I will fight Parkinson’s focusing on what I CAN do to make a difference rather than look at my limitations. This disease will beat us only if we allow it to, so the word of the day and every day my friends is FIGHT.

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