Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang “Our house is a very, very fine house” in 1970.  I fell in love with the song then and still love it today.  This morning I woke up with “Our House” playing in my mind.  Yes, our house is a very fine house and the reason is that it’s where Renee lives.

Home is wherever Renee is! Currently, home is in North Carolina, in a 55 and older community, surrounded by construction, noise, red dirt and pollen.  Despite the mess, I love it because its where Renee and I live.  Those of you who know me well are probably thinking that I’m brown nosing Renee in an attempt to get lucky.  

I got lucky when, ions ago, I went over to Renee’s mother’s house to

visit Cynthia (Renee’s mother) and found that Renee had just moved back to Norfolk from Chicago.  I got lucky when, later that year, Renee said yes to my proposal.  I got lucky when Renee moved back to Chicago as my wife.  I got lucky when she gave me three beautiful children.  I’m already a very lucky man.

Now, 42 years later, I’m lucky Renee puts up with me.  I’m sure it’s not easy watching the one you love slowly degenerate. It’s not easy for her when I insist on doing things myself (while I can) despite her desire to lighten my load by doing for me.  I am sure I’m not easy to live with at times.  My daughter recently pointed out that my less than rosy attitude was all too apparent.  I try not to be a pessimist.  I work at seeing the good in life and ignoring the bad that I know, from experience and training, is just around the corner.

 What’s really bad is seeing the worry on Renee’s face every time my legs don’t work or when I nap all day.  Even worse, is when she tries to hide her fears of what the future holds from me and the rest of the world.  I can see it on her face but, when I ask her, she always responds, “everything is ok.”  In a sense, everything is ok as long as we are together.  Our house is, in fact, a very, very fine house.  

At this point in life, I have a very important task to accomplish.  I have to remember that I am not the only one living with Parkinson’s.  I have to remember that Renee and the children live with the effects of Parkinson’s on a daily basis and, as I have bad days and worse days, so do they.  I have to help them survive the changes occurring in me.  

I have to make the most out of the future and continue to make our house a very fine place to be. I have to remember how lucky I am.  And yes. I’m not above a little brown nosing to get “lucky,” if you catch my drift. 

There is a moral to this story.  Those who suffer with chronic illness often lose track of the fact that their loved ones suffer the effects of the same illness they have, as if they actually were diagnosed with it.  Chronically ill patients often become self-centered and selfish as they deal with their disability/pain.  Their job is to never lose sight of the suffering of their loved ones caused by whatever illness they are suffering with. Caregivers need care!  If you are chronically ill  or suffering from a disability, con’t forget to care for your caregiver.  

Here’s your music and a joke.  

What do you do if your wife starts smoking?

“Slow down and possibly use some lubricant.” 

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