My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease just a few months ago.
When the family found out, there were some tears from the older kids, and not really much of an expression from the younger kids. What do the younger ones have to understand about Parkinson’s? My dad was just in the beginning stages, and there’s not much different there that they can see.
But I see the constant tremors in his hand when he is holding something like a phone to his ear. I see the slow gait with which he walks from downstairs up to his room.
There must be so much that goes on in the soul of a man who has been independent and good all his life – he raised seven children with his own sweat, honesty, and lots of prayer. He often remarks that he could be enjoying his retirement right now if it weren’t for his tremors.
I try to go with him for some of his occasional Holy Hour visits to the Blessed Sacrament. We take the family van there, sometimes we pray the Rosary on the way to the church, or we just quietly listen to classical music. Other times, we talk.
Last time, he told me about how he went to see a priest for advice about how to deal with Parkinson’s. The priest just advised him to say these words several times a day: “Jesus, help me to love your will. Jesus, help me to love your will. Jesus, help me to love your will……”
That’s great advice for him and me.