The longer I battle Parkinson's Disease, the more mindful I seem to be about the plight of others. In the early days as my fight was just beginning, it was all about me and I found that worrying about others was just a waste of time. But now, I seem to be more aware of the problems that other people are facing, finding great therapy in directing my energy towards serving some higher purpose.
It has now been sixteen years since my diagnosis and actually I am doing quite well. If the truth be told, I am doing remarkably well considering all that I have been though. My illness is no 'walk in the park' so I am grateful for all the good days that come my way.
But now I would like to focus on someone else's struggle, an old friend who has her own illness to deal with. For privacy reasons I feel obligated to keep her name, her illness and all other personal information personal. However, I would like to talk about what makes her and her husband such special people and why I feel so fortunate to be able to call them 'old friends'.
We met in middle school when my family relocated from the gulf coast of Alabama, to the foothills of South Carolina. It didn't take long for me to realize they were special. Both of them were popular and entrenched as members of that special group of people that everyone seemed to gravitate towards, and they still are today. There were other friends I made during these early years, but there friendship was one of the most endearing.
There are many others whose lives have been enriched by my 'old friends'. Their character, integrity and desire to serve others cannot be contained or bridled. Although we see each other rarely, time knows no bounds between the three of us, and I am secure in the knowledge that they would be there for me if I ever were to need them.
So I pray for my 'old friends', and I ask God to intervene on my behalf granting them the strength, the courage and the faith to deal with her disease much like he has done with mine.