Parkinson’s First Aid Part II. Resistance.

Remember that sea, those swirling waves and the bambino on the beach with his bucket and spade? And that sandcastle?

Well, today, I misplaced my own trusty spade. Had absolutely no idea where I’d put it. Not that I had sandcastles on my mind. Far from it. But I did want my spade back. On a day like today, not everything works and what does, works only by half.

A three-quarters kind of day

With Parkinson’s, you tend to first experience symptoms on one side of your body. In my case, it’s my right side. I can only do things with my right side by halves. Thus, on a day like today, everything I do with my right side, succeeds only by a quarter.

Today is, therefore, a three-quarters kind of day. Reminds me of my oma, the Resistance fighter, who always referred to one of the WWII occupiers (a nasty little man) as ‘six-and-a-quarter’. More to the point, it reminds me of my oma. Who was invited to sit at the front of Queen Juliana’s coronation. All on her own. Because her husband had already given his life to the Resistance. My grandparents were genuine Heroes of the Resistance.

So why am I moping about nothing?

I usually do my moping on the inside, because I think no-one will notice. That’s what mums think. They think that no-one will notice if you suddenly start scrubbing the kitchen from top to bottom, when it’s usually the last thing you’d do. If you can find me cleaning the kitchen, then it’s because I’m trying furiously to scrub my moping away. I’m in the Resistance. And I want to be victorious. So, I must scale up my resistance.

But I’ve lost my little spade

So, there’s nothing else for it but to plunge my bare hands, including that unruly right one, into the sands of resistance. On a day of resistance such as today, with no trusty spade to depend on, I take it upon myself to clean the bronze letters on our daughter’s tombstone. So, there I am, crouching by the tombstone, with an electric toothbrush and toothpaste (seems to do the trick), wondering: what on earth am I doing?

I’m resisting the madness of things, that’s what. The waves that crash over you. The loss of your child is not about your sandcastles. It’s about the hundreds of sandcastles that she should have built. The ice creams that we would have bought her. The sand between her toes. Sand that I would have brushed away with my hands. To enable her to continue on her way. First on unsteady bambino legs, then on pretty girl’s ones.

It’s that madness that I’m resisting

In comparison, Parkinson’s is at best a close second. Parkinson’s is about Life, not death. It’s about resisting, particularly against the uncertainty of the future. And, I definitely don’t want to be a moping mother today.

Hey?! Guess what! I was so busy resisting against anything and everything, that I didn’t even notice that Life had placed my little spade at my side.

That spade is my left index finger. The trusty little finger that tapped out this column on my iPhone. It’s a good little spade. And, it’s got a few more years of mountainous resistance in it yet.