(This is a Guest Post by Wendy’s Sister)
In preparation for the Parky’s Peddlers 500 km bike ride I asked my sister, “Please tell me what you need on the trip.” Almost immediately she replied, “I need you to treat me like ‘normal’, like before I was diagnosed with Parkinsonism.”
Since then, I have pondered what ‘normal’ is. Is it overlooking different movements or acknowledging? What is ‘normal’?
While riding with varied abled cyclists over the past approximately 350 kms in three days and meeting new friends and family impacted by Parkinson’s Disease I have contemplated this thought…what IS ‘normal’?
While there are common traits amongst us all, we are each unique and endearing in different ways…and this is ‘normal’. I could elaborate further but thinking of DC and his sons provides a great illustration to the Parky Peddlers regarding the range of ‘normal’ (smiles and hugs all around!)
‘Normal’ is flying up the long Waddington Mountain range..or taking breaks when needed. ‘Normal’ is stopping for the phone alarm to take the necessary mediation. ‘Normal’ is peddling with an added movement, little movement or loosing movement while en route. ‘Normal’ is noticing the range of PD and feeling frustrated or relieved, depending on the day.
The reality is that those with Parkinson’s and their family/friends wake to a new ‘normal’ each day…and adapt…with amazing grace and dignity….in no time….to embark on the day with endless optimism.
‘Normal’ is responding in kind with hope and optimism. ‘Normal’ is offering an arm to lean on, a bike to hold or a hug to give and receive. ‘Normal’ is hearing and telling stories about the days adventures of past and present with humour and compassion.
‘Normal’ is the wisdom of my older sister…’normal’ is the best advice to take and give….thank-you!
love and hugs,