Lately, it has been difficult for me to get through the day. A mild summer cold and insomnia have made overcoming Parkinson’s constant nag to inaction increasingly impossible to ignore. Condemned to boredom’s nightmare, often unable to muster the energy to stand, I ward off apathetic languor as it vies for supremacy with callous free-floating anxiety.
Patience is Parkinson’s strongest suit: relentless, dull-tipped incursions methodically eat away at my stamina. Given Parkinson’s timeframe for success—measured in decades—it would appear inevitable that the disease will eventually win, a conclusion I’ve endured as an essential premise for the past 17 years.
My singular refusal to allow that day to be today is all that has kept the game in play. So, what is it that keeps this baleful diversion going? My competitive nature certainly is part of it; I’ve never enjoyed losing, even after fully accepting that winning is not an option. Death itself does not scare me inordinately, but I do grow concerned about the inevitable hardships encountered enroute to fulfilling mortality’s contract.
There is one thing that inspires me, however: a fascination with the curious power that twists and turns the lives of family members and how it might influence their travels. I could care less about popular notions of success: whether my children achieve wealth, status, or fame gratifies me only at the margins. That they are generally happy, reflective, and kind fits my definition of success far better.
When my father was weeks away from passing on, his last piece of advice to me was always to stay curious. It has taken me years to understand, but I finally appreciate why: in the end, curiosity might be all that remains as animation quits our still form.