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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.

Magic

Terri Reinhart

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you

because the greatest secrets

are always hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”

Roald Dahl

Thirty-five years ago, I broke up with a boyfriend and decided I wasn't going to have any relationships for at least a couple of years. I was only 20 years old, after all, and had a lot I wanted to do. The next day, I met a quiet, handsome, older man (he was 24) named Chris Reinhart. We'll celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in May.

I believe in magic love.

Two weeks ago, when we started looking at our house and deciding where to paint, one wall stood out with its ugly, dirty, yellowish color and pencil scribblings. This wall definitely would not be painted. It's our sacred growing wall, telling the stories of our children in graphite lines, scrawled names and dates.

About ten inches from the floor, the name written for the marking is Isabel Gosling, 6/16/02.

Almost even with our daughter, there's another line. The name written by it is familiar to our family. Lisa was our daughter's imaginary friend for years before, “you know how it is, Mom. Sometimes imaginary friend's moms just want them to come back home”. But before Lisa went home, she left her height mark on our growing wall.

I had an imaginary friend when I was younger, too. Her name was Linda. Where do these friends come from? I don't know, but I believe they are real.

I believe in magic friends.

Once, when traveling, I was introduced to a wonderful woman named Bella. She immediately came over and embraced me, then stepped back, looked away for a moment, and chuckled. Turning back to me, she said, “You brought someone with you, in spirit.” I replied, “Yes!” When I returned, I told a friend about this. He looked at me very seriously and said, “It was me”. I smiled, because I knew.

I believe in magic people.

We watched our donkey make friends with a fox and play in our yard together. Later, when the kits were born, the fox and his wife brought them out to meet the donkey. We watched from the window.

I believe in magic animals.

We heard Chris' mother's last words, wrapped them up in our love and sorrow, and gave them to the rest of the family.

I believe in magic moments.

Our paychecks nearly always carried us through from one month to the next. When they didn't, my father would loan me a novel, telling me I had to read it. As we walked out the door, he would grin and say, “don't lose the bookmark”... a $20 bill.

I believe in magic fathers.

Being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease means I can stay at home, write, do art, cook, dance, do yoga, see friends, take classes, and take naps whenever I want to.

I believe in magic gifts even when they come in crazy wrapping.

The puppy only peed in the house once today, my husband danced with me, and our son has a job interview on Friday.

I definitely believe in magic.

 “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

 W. B. Yeats