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Day #25

Petting my Cat
What could petting my cat possibly have to do with Parkinson’s you may ask? As it turns out…quite a lot. Every morning part of my ritual is to sit on my front patio, smoothie in hand and write something. Invariably, every time I get settled and ready to go, Gerry The Cat hops on my lap and insists I brush him and lavish praise on him. He’s very persistent and won’t take no for an answer! Eventually, he’s had enough and heads out to the garden to torture a lizard or two before finding a comfy spot for a nap. Some days I’m anxious to get right to the business of putting my thoughts down but that doesn’t concern him in the least! I really started to think about it this morning and here’s what I came up with…
It doesn’t matter what I had planned for that moment because he is going to have his way… He wants his lap time, and nothing is going to change that. Gerry The Cat’s time with me is a metaphor about life itself.
Most of us have a plan about our lives and the direction we’re heading. We think we’re in charge of our own destiny and live accordingly. That plan can hum along smoothly as time passes. Out of nowhere, something pops up that changes it. An illness, changes in finances or the death of a loved one can shake your life plan to its core.
The appearance of Parkinson’s twelve years ago was one of those moments for me. There were all sorts of opportunities being discussed about my career and the future was bright. Karen was doing great and we both enjoyed good health. There was plenty of money in our retirement accounts and we were making plans to do some traveling. All in all, the plan was coming to fruition…
Parkinson’s changed that.
It took us a while, but eventually when the initial shock wore off, we started on plan B. My career goals were reassessed and priorities shifted. About that same time, the idea of volunteering came to the forefront and things changed again. I discovered how rewarding it is to be of service to others and that started a plan C that continues today. What I’ve learned from this experience is that no matter what your plans might be, a Gerry The Cat is waiting to hop on your lap… You can either shoo him away or you can embrace the moment and pet him…The choice is yours…
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