Oct 12, 2014

'Accept your past without regrets, handle your present with confidence & face your future without fear'

Today I turn 37 years old!  It's funny how when we are in our teens and even in our young twenties we think late 30's and 40's are so dreadfully old!  Then when we hit that place ourselves we feel a whole lot differently.  We have assumptions about where in our life we will be at a certain age and what we'll be like.  We have a vision for what life is to look like at certain stages.  When we hit that point in time in our life and it doesn't appear the way we had envisioned we look at ourselves and wonder why?  Is it different for good reasons or perhaps frustrating ones?  Is it better than we hoped for or worse?  Well I can say that like most I had a thought of where I'd be around this time in my life and it certainly was not to be a 37 year old mother of two beautiful girls and dealing with Parkinson's Disease.  That's an 'old person' disease and I am not old.  Although I have to admit I have days where I feel like I'm 37 and I'm trapped in the body of a 90 year old.  Those days are frustrating to say the least.

I saw my family Doctor a couple weeks ago.  We were speaking about my now confirmed YOPD diagnosis and how my 'on' periods with my meds aren't lasting long enough for me to go back to my career.  I admitted to him that I was struggling with that, mourning that PD has taken so much from me and how I was meant to work.  I adore and love my children beyond what words could express but I had never envisioned being a stay at home mother.  And I have days when the school bus pulls up and the fighting starts and I want to pull my hair out.  Days where my husband will Facetime us from his work in Alberta where I'm ready to scream.  I think perhaps had I 'chosen' to be a stay at home Mom it would be a lot different, but this was forced on me.  I enjoy my time with them immensely and I know how terrible that must sound to some.  But it just wasn't the way I 'planned' it all out.  I'm suppose to be 37, thriving in my career that I've worked so hard for over the years, loving being a dance mom and my 3 day weekends with my girls (I worked 4 days a week) and life was pretty much suppose to be perfect.  Parkinson's is not part of the perfect plan.

But with all that said, things could always be worse.  I have been touched by so many beautiful people struggling far more than I am.  This journey has brought people into my life that are fighting courageous battles that I admire their strength.  A beautiful woman named Cindy that has crossed my path through the world of technology & blogs.  Virtually introduced to me by her cousin who lives in PEI.  She's a warrior Mom fighting breast cancer a year younger than I with small children as well.  I read her story and sometimes feel guilty of the down days I have.  After all I'm not having to endure any of the horrible obstacles she's faced with, life altering decisions and fear.  I have fear of my own and obstacles too but they are of a different variety.  So many out there fighting battles that they are losing and know that their time on this earth is being cut short.  Parkinson's was not part of the perfect plan, but I know I can do this, I know it's not what I want, but I know it could always be worse.  I may have struggles and bad days and yes over time I will get worse.  BUT I will be there for all the momentous occasions in my children's lives.  There to hold hands with my husband.  I am lucky!  I am blessed and I have much much joy in my life to be grateful for.  Parkinson's disease will not take that away from me because I won't allow it.  Parkinson's will not define who I am.  Parkinson's has and will continue to teach me lesson after lesson in this life.  Wonderful lessons that otherwise I may not have gotten to learn.  I am lucky in many ways.

So, as I celebrate my 37th birthday it isn't how I planned it all but that's ok.  I am lucky enough to be spending my birthday in Calgary with my best friend Colette who I love dearly and is one of my biggest supporters and I can't imagine life without her & her beautiful family, even though we live a country apart.  I woke up this morning to the beautiful mountain scenery of Bow Valley Provincial Park where we're camping & been enjoying morning coffee & evening wine.  Next week I am going to have the utmost pleasure of meeting that inspiring woman Cindy that I spoke of above and I cannot wait to hug her.  I feel as though she's been a friend forever and I've never even laid eyes on her.  I will spend most of next week making beautiful memories with my sweet girls, my husband will be meeting us here to come home with us for a couple of weeks and all around it's a fabulous way to become 37!  There is much joy to be had as I start my 37th year of life even though I'm in a place I never would have planned for!
How can you not find joy when this is where you wake up on your birthday?


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