Posted by: PD Warrior | May 1, 2016

Fighting The Good Fight

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Last week I spent an awesome weekend in NYC with my wonderful wife, and two of the finest friends anyone could ask for – my pastor and his wife – participating in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk. And, just as every other year that I have participated, I learned something. I leaned something about myself, I learned something about life, and I learned something far more important.

So, what did I learn about myself?

Well, a couple things:

First, I am out of shape. Walking around the city kicked my butt! Not because of the Parkinson’s (although that didn’t help) but simply because I am out of shape. I walk around quite a bit in my day to day life, but I didn’t stop to think that I don’t do that much walking all at once. Gasp…I’m getting out of breath just thinking about it. Rest assured I won’t make that mistake twice – I’m never going back to New York City again…

Kidding… I will go back. I will do the Unity Walk again. But I will be in better shape. If that experience wasn’t incentive to exercise, nothing will be.

Second, I am not the only one with PD. I know this. In my mind I know this very well, but for whatever reason I tend to forget this extremely obvious fact. I am not the only one with the disease. And, truth be told, I’ve got it easy. Yes, I have PD. I’ve had it for 12 years. Yes the shakes are aggravating. The loss of balance is vexing. The sleep disorder is down right annoying. The physical contortions I go through when I fall are just…well, those are kinda funny. (Relax, and read my previous post “If I Only Had A Camera,” then you’ll understand. If I can’t laugh at myself, who can I laugh at?)

No, compared to others, I’ve got it good. I can still walk, I can still work. I saw fellow Parkies that put me to shame with their resilience and fortitude under conditions far, far worse than what I am going through.

Next, I learned about life. Traveling the streets of the “Big Apple” I saw all sorts of people. I saw artists of all shapes, sizes and genres. People singing and dancing in the subway stations and on the trains themselves. Spray paint artists, creating fantastic pictures using nothing but spray paints, scrapers, rags to wipe away sections on the canvas, and doing it so quickly and expertly it boggles the mind – gorgeous scenes created in mere minutes.

And I saw homeless people…

Everywhere.

Some humble. Some not so humble, and other’s still that words can not describe.

There are homeless people where I live too, but, I hate to say it, they are for the most part out of sight and therefore ashamedly out of mind. At home they are easy to forget about. In “The City,” they are undeniable. We gave what we could, where we could, when we could, but it wasn’t nearly enough. My heart cries for these people.

Lastly, I learned the most important lesson of all. It came in the form of a Bible verse that I had all but forgotten about – a verse that my wife had printed on shirts she surprised me with for my team members and myself to wear on the day of the walk. I have called myself “The PD Warrior ever since coming down with this stupid disease, but in reality, I am not the “true” warrior. I am nothing without my wife and kids. I am nothing without my church. And I am certainly less than nothing without my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The verse was this: “It is the Lord your God who fights for you.” Joshua 23:3

There is no greater truth than that!

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