Mornings start at 4 a.m. and tend to be great.  Some mornings, my body forgets it has Parkinson’s.  This morning was one such morning.  My legs worked, my balance was good and nothing hurt.  I made a cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen table contemplating the move. 

At 4 am, the house is quiet.  There are no talking heads spewing forth doom and gloom, no one reading the names of the dead, no silly TV shows; just me and my thoughts of the present and memories of the past.  It’s a great time to listen to the music in my head, write an article or two and even work on organizing a book.

By 10 am, I’m an old man.  My legs no longer work well and, with the struggle to walk, my mood sinks.  I’m 20 years older than when I woke up.  This morning, during my down time, I answered one of my former patient’s email.  I was honest and said life sucked.  I wrote about the frustration of trying to sell a home in the Covid era.  This morning, I was particularly down as I watched my pool glimmer as the sun came up. 

Usually, this is my favorite time of the year.  As my pool awakens, so does the neighborhood.  Normally, the sounds of kids playing, laughing and splashing emanates from my backyard.  I love the intermingling of the sounds of nature and kids having fun; living life to its fullest.  This year the pool will be mostly silent.  We will be gone and a pool service will be maintaining the water while waiting for someone to purchase the house and pool.

Some lucky family will know the joy of swimming and laughing in their own backyard.  I imagine they’ll play basketball, bags and volleyball while the dad serves lunch and dinner fresh off the grill.  All of this passed through my mind this am.  Then I imagined a pool sitting by itself, no children, no laughter as the house waits to be sold.

I’m still riding the roller coaster.  By 11 am, I’m really in the pits.  DING, my phone lets me know I have a new email.  It’s from the patient/friend I had just dumped my mood on and it’s special.  The email is uplifting and hopeful.  She couldn’t have done a better job at lifting my spirits if she had 40 years of experience as a PhD. Psychiatrist.

She threw me a life raft and I thank her for caring.  When I’m up, I write and so tomorrow you’ll read this article.   I’ll publish it just before I put on a winter coat and go sit by the pool.  Illinois weather really does suck.

For those of you who are riding the roller coaster, choose to be happy but make sure your friends and family know how you feel.  They are your life raft when the ride goes out of control.  If you are lucky, you’ll have friends like mine who will share their wisdom with you.

Here is today’s music: 

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  1. Loved your article! I will miss your pool and your welcoming family. We will always hold dear all the memories made poolside with you and Renee’ and all the kids….yours and the neighbor’s…. you both always included everyone. You were the best neighbors we have ever had and it is bittersweet to think of you in North Carolina. I am happy you are moving closer to your children and grandchildren and better weather, but just knowing you were right down the road has always been a comfort even after we had moved. We are going to make a plan to come visit you in NC and keep in touch. We love you both so much! Hugs! Kathy & Terry

  2. Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts. I totally have empathy and wish I could give you a hug. Always find a little joy out of a bad day. Remember you are loved !
    In my thoughts and prayers.
    Keep your sense of humor.

    Hugs !

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