(In honor of my sweet dad. Thanksgiving 2011 was one of the last few days I spent with him. Unable to eat any longer, he still had a sense of humor, and made that day one of the most special Thanksgivings I will ever remember. I learned this holiday is truly far less about what you consume and more about the gratitude of your heart.)
“Thank you.” The words passed from his lips with concerted effort in barely more than a whisper. My sweet dad, fighting a several year battle with Parkinson’s disease, didn’t let the atrophying of his vocal cords prevent him from offering thanks on a regular basis.
My dad’s diagnosis came shortly after his retirement from thirty-eight years of teaching secondary math. The disease first presented itself clearly to us in his walk which became more of a shuffle. Initially the medications and exercise routines helped tremendously, but in 2009 he began a sudden and irreversible decline.