Next month, I will celebrate an anniversary. I'm hoping for a party, of course, but would settle for presents and a bottle of champagne.
I startled. I'd know that hmmph anywhere. Mo was back, standing on the narrow space above my keyboard and craning her neck to read what I was writing.
Mo: And it's blasted uncomfortable, too. It's like trying to watch a movie while standing on the floor right in front of the screen. Could I have a chair, please?
Me: Who says you can read my writing before I'm finished, anyway?
Mo: I do. It's about time you got back to writing more often. I've had to take an extra job, just to stay in business.
Me: An extra job? What else are you doing?
Mo: I've got my own column now, didn't you know? It's an advice column called, “Ask Mo”.
Me: This I've got to see. Who in their right mind would ask you for advice? Opinions, maybe, but advice?
Mo: Just listen to this, “Dear Mo, I am 88 years old and still like to go shopping. I do just fine, but invariably some young woman will come up to me, put her hand on my arm, ask if I would like some help, and call me dearie. What should I do?” JP
Me: What was your response?
Mo: I told him to turn to the young woman, wink, and say, “Sure Sweetie, you can help me anytime”.
I think Mo will do well.
Me: Okay. How about if I ask you a question. Dear Mo, next month I will celebrate a special anniversary. It will be six years since I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. I would like to have a party with champagne, but my husband would prefer a quiet dinner and some beer. What's your advice?
Mo: As long as you don't drink any champagne or beer, I don't give a .... uh.. I don't care what you do. Why do you want to celebrate anyway?
Me: Why not? Any excuse to celebrate is good.... but I know what you mean. Why even acknowledge the anniversary of being diagnosed with a progressive illness? It's a good question. I try to celebrate every day, in some way, since my diagnosis. There's a lot to celebrate, when I really think about it.
Mo: Like what? Your amazing superpower abilities like being faster than a speeding tortoise? Your ability to scorch your husband with a single hot flash?
Me: Yup. And that's not all! I can do Mountain pose, Tree pose, and Warrior 2. I can do the grapevine, fl-lap step, Cha-cha, and dance to the Pink Panther song. My posture is better than it was before I was diagnosed. I feel better than before I was diagnosed. I'm not really celebrating a diagnosis of an illness, I'm celebrating the anniversary of when I decided to live well. Heck, I can even bend down and touch my toes now.
Mo smiled. She did a little twirl on the top of the table and started humming the Pink Panther song. I couldn't help it. I joined in. Soon we were doing the grapevine across the living room.
Me: You're not bad! Maybe you can come to dance class with me one day?
Mo: I'll think about it. What about your celebration?
Me: What's your advice?
Mo: Don't forget to invite me!
Note from Terri.... Mo is determined to continue her advice column. If you have any questions, please write to her firstname.lastname@example.org. She promises to reply.