After the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve there is a family tradition of opening the front and rear doors of our home after midnight, which I first witnessed when staying in the care of my grandma many New Year's Eve's ago. The symbolism is that of sweeping out all the negative energy and events that linger in our homes and welcoming new positive energy. 

As I look back at the end of the year 2014 I wonder what I will be sweeping out and what will be ushered in. What is the negativity of 2014?

It was at the beginning of 2014, January 9th to be exact, that I received my diagnosis of Parkinson's. It was the culmination of many years of searching for a diagnosis of all that ailed me. The tremors and the difficulty walking can be recounted back to 1998. Other issues such as balance and stiffness have only appeared in the last few years. When the doctor looked at us and said to my wife, “you know what it is,” she still couldn't say it because she knows through her career as a nurse what devastation Parkinson's disease can bring.

While many may look at a disease such as Parkinson's to be a life sentence, I do not. I know there will be days that will be difficult and painful. However, as an educator I have been born to teach others. I will utilize this passion to teach others about the lives of Parkinson's patients; that we do not simply disappear and die. What we have to offer is amazing and the world will know about it.

I am available to talk about Parkinson’s to those that don’t know about it. I am there to talk about overcoming obstacles. I am there to talk about how God’s grace and how His time affects my life and that of my wife’s.  Beginning today, I am available to speak to groups and individuals.

While this may seem to many to be a resolution, it is an extension of who I am. I will however take it a step further and discuss opportunities with organizations, schools, and churches. I will be in contact with various speaker bureaus. I am developing my story. My writing, poetry, and photography I will compile into a book.

This past year changed my life. It wasn't a negative or positive energy that was swept into or out of our home, but a new direction that my wife and I were led to. Not in our choosing, but in His.

And now we begin going down that path by taking the first step.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
-- Proverbs 16:9