~by Louis Templeman
August 24,2015: Lots of attention, lots of love
Some Parkinson’s patients qualify for a certain neurosurgery that will give relief from symptoms of the motion disorder. The protocol is determined by a team of very educated specialists. They consider the patient’s stage in the progress of the disease, the results of a 3 – 4 hour neuro-psychological evaluation, MRIs, various types of lab work and other considerations that I cannot even comprehend. At present, I am in the initial stages of this evaluation process.
I can come up with more enjoyable reasons to be the object of attention of so many intelligent and dedicated people. It is daunting to have a progressive disease that will not quit until I quit this flesh. Nevertheless, I cannot help but be impressed by the efforts to help me. This is a demonstration to me that humanity is, by instinct, good and gracious and determined to improve the quality of life, the alleviation of pain and discomfort of others; to visit the lonely, reach out to prisoners of justice and/or oppression, and see to the clothing, feeding and sheltering of those in unfortunate situations; each using their talents by touching, giving gifts, touching and even singing for the comfort, joy and exhortation of any who will listen. There is lots of bad stuff happening in this troubled world but it will never be bad enough to drown out or ultimately destroy humanity’s proclivity to do good, make friends and make, whether skillful or feeble, genuine attempts to love others.
I am fortunate to live in Jacksonville, Florida where I have been introduced to a community of Parkinson’s patients, caregivers, volunteers and professionals who educate, offer therapy, medicine and fellowship that helps us to enjoy the comfort and support that comes from knowing we are not alone. My town is not the only community where this love is evident. No matter where you go there will be those who will find any excuse to be good, to be kind, to be helpful. It is one of the obvious proofs that we are made in the image of God – the image of goodness. Kindness comes natural to most people. And, for those who neglect opportunities to do good we are caught short with troubled consciences and we usually resolve to do better next chance we get.
I certainly am tempted to feel sorry for myself and when I do I become short sited and am unable to see the many graces that imbue the fabric of our lives. We live in a world of light and shadow. Any disease represents a shadow but every difficulty also opens doors for the living light of grace. Life requires us to take the good with the bad. Holding them in proper perspective is the key to living in the light and being grateful for the shadows that make the display of the light and grace of life warm and visible. The shadows I am now experiencing have opened doors for the attention and love that continues to astonish me.
Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.
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