my parents and i had a great day….did christmas shopping for the grandkids, celebrated my dear friend chris’ 65th birthday at a nearby sushi restaurant, spent the afternoon chatting, laughing and throwing the ball with my mom. at the end of the day, she was exhausted.
she started sobbing as i readied her for bed. my dad can’t stand it when she cries.
i try to explain that she’s allowed to cry with no explanation. living in her condition must be frustrating. he yells at her, ‘what’s wrong? why are you crying?’ which only makes her cry more. and then he looks at me, ‘do something. stop her! she’s crying!’
i hold her and let her cry.
i explain to my dad that most people who have parkinsons struggle with depression and periods of emotional despair. he absolutely refuses to accept that – ‘don’t say that! she’ll start to believe it!’ …i remind him ‘imagine what it must feel like to be trapped in a body that doesn’t work?’
when things aren’t going the way i want them to, instead of getting angry and frustrated, i practice acceptance. i can’t change her condition, but i can hold her and let her cry, i can listen to what she might be saying, i can be there for her.
i got her giggling when i told my dad, ‘the reason women live longer than men, is that we women know how to get our emotions out…we don’t hold things in’ …he nodded, trying to understand… and i wonder if he ever will..