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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.

Stuffed, Roasted, or Boxed?

Terri Reinhart

It was a rare moment when I was home alone. Chris had gone to pick up Emma at the light rail station. I had just returned from delivering mail to my parents and picking up our grandsons from school and taking them to their home. Time to sit down and make up my menu and to do list for Thanksgiving dinner. Then the phone rang. The caller thanked me for filling out his questionnaire and sending it back in and wanted to know when he could come over to talk to my husband and me. I didn't remember filling out any questionnaire, but the man was persistent. Perhaps it was my husband who sent it in. Whatever it was, we got it all sorted out and a few days later had our sit down talk with a friendly young man about preplanning (and prepaying) for our funerals.

It's one of those should do things that I'd rather not. At least this young man didn't ask questions about our health. Considering their payment plan included insurance, which means if you die before paying it off they won't make you continue paying, I wonder what they do if they find out you have a better than average risk of croaking before the last $ comes in? Not that I do. Parkinson's isn't a fatal disease, but the mere mention of a chronic progressive health condition can make the most enthusiastic insurance salesperson suddenly uninterested in you. The last one compared me to a racehorse with a broken leg.  

It has made us think. Planning ahead would be helpful to our kids, save us money in the long run, and ... what else do we need for our holiday dinner this week?

Going whole hog (or turkey) and having a casket funeral and burial is unbelievably expensive. I had no idea the average funeral costs $8000. 

Should we go with the Simple Roast Turkey recipe by Melissa Clark? Fix something more gourmet? Go to a restaurant? 

Maybe we should go the easier route and be cremated. My cousin died of ALS seven years ago. At his request, his ashes were put in a cardboard box and buried. Hid grandkids drew pictures which were then taped on the box.

Make it simple - concentrate on the side dishes. I especially like a Sassy Cranberry Sauce and yams baked with apples, raisins, and brown sugar. We'll have a big salad and, just for fun, some Bacon Wrapped Dates. For dessert, maybe I'll try something new and have Molly Ritter's Purple Sweet Potato Pie. Molly was one of my kindergarten students. Now she's a model and she enjoys cooking. All our bread baking obviously paid off.

Oh man, even a simple cremation is expensive. It's tempting to do what an old friend did and donate our bodies to science. This, however, might discourage anyone in our family from going to medical school. That cadaver they're working on just might be Grandma. We teased our friend unmercifully about her decision, even though we knew it was an extremely generous and noble thing to do. One friend suggested when the medical school was finished with her, we could have her stuffed and set her in the corner. How silly we were....

Oh, that reminds me... what are we going to do for stuffing?