Oh how one's world and views within that world change after someone close to you is diagnosed with Parkinson's. Simple things that i once took for granted are no longer so simple.

Parking.  It used to be that I never paid much attention to the handicap parking signs in parking lots.  No, I never parked there, but I wasn't yet aware of how many people do, who really shouldn't.  There are those who park there, with their car running, apparently waiting for someone to come out.  Then there are those who park between the signs, instead of in front of them, as if that makes it okay.  We weren't ecstatic the day we received our permanent handicap tag - to Marty and I , it meant that Parkinson's was also permanent.

Marty needs that tag right now.  Even with the tag, there are times that I need to pull the car closer or help him balance as we walk to and from.  When I see people parked who have no tag, it makes me angry.  I would gladly give them Marty's tag.......if they would also take his Parkinson's. 

Target.  A store that we all have been in for everyday shopping. A store that prides itself in how it gives back to the community. Today we went inside for the 9 items on our list.  Marty was having a difficult day walking - the tremors were in his legs .  I went in ahead to get him an electric cart.  Target has them available for customers who need them.  In fact....today there were 5 of them at 11:30 AM. Not a one of them had been kept charged.  Our only other option was a regular wheelchair.  Good thing I carry a shopping tote in my purse, as it is incredibly difficult to push a wheelchair and a cart at the same time. We picked up the 9 items we needed and left, even though there were other items we had wanted to look at and price.

People.  Yes, People.  I have always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; always looked for the good.  It is difficult for me when I see how rude people can be.  There are the stares - people just aren't used to seeing a healthy-looking young man stumbling as he tries to walk or looking so healthy in a wheelchair or electric cart. The rudeness. People who pretend not to see the wheelchair and almost push us out of the way. No, I haven't stopped believing people all have good in them, I am just becoming disenchanted by a general lack of compassion.

Marty is an amazing person.  He has the brain of a computer - perhaps the smartest person I have ever known.  He has a heart bigger than I have ever seen and he has so much compassion for people.  A gentle giant.  A hard worker. A man of strong faith. A teacher who goes the extra distance to help a student. A son who deeply loves his parents. A brother, a son-in-law, a step-father, an uncle, a cousin and a friend.  Most of all - my best friend and my husband. Parkinson's is making it difficult for him to walk, to stand, to balance.....it doesn't change who he is. He is still an amazing man. He still puts others before himself and he will always be a man of integrity.

My hope is that as we navigate this new journey of our life together, people will be able to see the blessings.  We face this together as a team. as soulmates.  There is so much to be grateful for.......our new world!