Walk This Way

I am coming to the end of a month long stay in Victoria, an escape from the lingering mountains of snow in my hometown of Revelstoke and an opportunity to spend time with my 97-year-old mom. After a lovely lunch with an old teaching friend and mentor, I then walked with her the 10 blocks to where she had parked her car downtown. It was a gorgeous day, cool and breezy by the water, with blossoms out on the ornamental plum trees, and riots of tulips everywhere. On my way back to my hotel, a man walked up beside me while I waited for the traffic light to change.

I want to know what song is playing in your head, he said.

I must have looked confused.

You have been walking along with your arms going, your shoulders grooving..., he explained. Must be a great song.

I laughed.

No song, I said. Parkinson’s Disease. But thanks for thinking it’s music that makes me walk this way.

He smiled, a little embarrassed, but not too, I hope.

I am so appreciative of any time I get to laugh because of the Parkinson’s.

For the first few years, I told myself no one could tell, that I wasn’t obviously “parkie”. Yes, well, you know there is no way I can say that now. It has been hard work and oh, so humbling to come to terms with being visibly one of the PD tribe but I think I am at a place of being okay with it, most days, most of the time. It’s all about how you frame it. And I am delighted by the thought that it looks like I am walk/dancing ... that I am happy. Because I am, most days, most of the time.

So, to the guy at the stop light, thank you for your gift. Thank you for a new way to frame this little piece of the journey. I am going to love walking with a song in my head. Most days. Most of the time.

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