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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.

New Year’s Resolution

Terri Reinhart

Dear God,

For the New Year, I resolve to believe in you.  I don’t say this lightly as there have been many things I have struggled to understand over the past few years.  During this time, I have assured myself that, if you do exist, you wouldn’t mind my struggling and questioning.  If I had died at a time when I refused to acknowledge you, I know you would not have held this against me, either.  If I was asked to believe in a god who was that mean spirited, I would refuse and spend my days in atheistic bliss.

I don’t promise to understand you.  Many people have tried to teach me about you and it gets confusing.  Some people tell me you are one god.  I can see this.  Most of the world is so beautiful that it’s hard to imagine that it could have been created by committee.  If there were many gods, I’m sure they wouldn’t agree on everything.  It would have taken longer than seven days.  In fact, we’d still be waiting for you to finish the landscape and create us.  I don’t count out the possibility of many gods, however, especially when I look at certain animals, like the daubentonia madagascariensis or the proboscis monkey or even the alpaca, which, when shorn, looks like a cross between a camel and a Dr. Suess drawing.  Either there was a lot of compromising going on or one of you has a bizarre sense of humor. 

I prefer to let you be who you are and I won’t worry about the details.    

Some say you have all sorts of rules that we need to follow.  Of course, I have yet to find those who agree on what those rules are.  There are people who insist that you’re interested in our politics and we need to vote for the one YOU want in office – another rule.  I don’t get this at all.  Why would you go to the bother of creating intelligent beings if you don’t expect us to think?  I can’t imagine why you’d be interested in politics, anyway.  Your have enough to do, just keeping the universe in order.  I suspect you have more trust in us than we have in ourselves.    

I don’t promise to be religious.  Church ceremonies can be beautiful, but I don’t want to be a part of an organized religion.  They think they know exactly who you are and that makes me nervous.  When I look at history, I see that there has been too much violence in this world that is done in the name of religion.  Much of what is done in churches doesn’t seem to have anything at all to do with you.

I will get angry with you.  I try to believe that everything has a purpose and that the purpose is ultimately for our good, regardless of what it seems at the time.  I can’t always do this.  You’ll have to give me a little leeway here.  Karma and reincarnation make sense to me, most of the time.  I’ll get angry when things seem to go overboard and people start to suffer needlessly, as least in my opinion.  I think you’d prefer I get angry rather than wishy-washy. 

Just because I’ve decided to believe in you doesn’t mean I need to talk about you.  When I was young and believed in you for the first time, I talked about you a lot.  That’s like any friendship, isn’t it?  I still do that whenever I make a new friend.  It undoubtedly drives my family nuts, but there’s something magical that happens and it’s impossible not to share that joy.  You and I, however, have had a relationship for many years already.  It’s a different kind of relationship now, quieter and more realistic.  There’s no need to talk about it all the time.  I won’t brag about what you do, either, or expect you to help with all the little things in my life.  You’ve created me with a heart and hands, as well as brains.  I can struggle and figure some things out for myself. 

It’s the least I can do.

Happy New Year,