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My Parkinson's Journey

In which Terri shares a humorous look at her journey with Parkinson's disease and Dystonia:

For me, illness and health are not opposites but exist together. Everyone has something that is challenging to them. Mine just simply has a recognizable name. My life will take a different path because of this but that's okay. Everyone has changes in their lives that create their path.  I'm learning how to enjoy whatever path I'm on.

Make It Beautiful

Terri Reinhart

Make It Beautiful 06/09/2008

If one were to look through the work of our first graders, they might wonder at a few things they saw. Every now and then, in the middle of their words or sentences, there would be drawn a lovely flower or heart, or maybe even a cat. Why was this drawing in the middle of their sentence? It’s because they made a mistake. When you are writing with a crayon, there isn’t a way to erase a mistake. At first, many of the children become frustrated every time they “mess up” and want to tear up their paper and start over. But this is not allowed. The teacher gently instructs the children that when they make a mistake, they must turn it into something beautiful.

Sometimes I think that this is the most important lesson they learn at our school. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were a rule for all of us? What might happen if, every time we made a mistake, we turned it into something beautiful? Just think. When we say something we shouldn’t or hurt someone in any way, we would begin, out of habit, to find a way to fix it. Not by tearing it up and starting over, ignoring the fact that we blew it, but by seeing what we have done and finding a way to fix it. We’re not allowed to tear up our life and start over. Turn it into something beautiful.

I guess that is what I hope to do with my writings. I want to take all my blunders, my failings, the moments when I stumble the most, and make them beautiful. Or at the very least see the humor in my own stumbling and, if I am really lucky, make someone else laugh.

That would be beautiful!