Five years ago this month I was sitting in my Neurologists office and I was extremely afraid. I had a solid hunch that my life was changing, unfolding in ways that I had never dreamt possible. I felt very much out of control.
This month marks the fifth anniversary of my diagnosis of Young Onset Parkinson’s disease. It is startling that on the one hand five years has already flown by but on the other it feels so much longer. Yes, I know that the sentence doesn’t read quit right in that ‘flown by’ should be followed with ‘it just feels like yesterday’ or some such. However, in many ways this past five years have felt like their own life time.
In this time I have participated in and won The Amazing Race Canada with my son Tim Jr. I have had the opportunity to travel widely both for pleasure and work. I have had the chance to share my journey with thousands encouraging them to Live Your Best. I’ve watched as Tim Jr. has gotten married to a wonderful young lady and have our first grand child; a lovely little girl!
Today, five years hence, I spoke with that same neurologist and confirmed the decision to leave my nursing career and begin long term disability. Five years in and I’m still faced with the tensions of this life.
Tim Jr. kicked off Wingin’ It for Parkinson’s today. A wing eating, beer drinking relay designed to promote awareness and raise funds for the cause. I am so incredibly proud of him and the effort he has put toward this event now in his second year. I am less thrilled that I am a recipient of that cause.
You will forgive me if I am somewhat melancholy. I know that I’m the motivational speaker who’s suppose to be ‘up’ all the time but that’s just not reality. Some days I’m the guy that doesn’t know which end is up.
It’s not an easy choice nor is it necessarily a happy decision but I will choose to celebrate this day. I have not been planted where I might otherwise have chosen but I will choose to grow here. I will choose to embrace my reality for in many ways it is much better than that of so many others. I will be grateful for all that this disease has brought me for it has brought many good things.
Today I will smile even though I am not necessarily happy. I will be joyful even in the midst of sadness. I will count my blessings all the while knowing that life is not always fair. And I will hope. I will trust that all will simply be as it should. That it will be alright.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
There are many valleys along the way on this journey but the mountain peaks are splendid. I look forward to spending many of these moments with you as we travel this road together.
As always, have the strength to find simplicity in just being your best today no matter what that looks like. Have the courage to be content with whatever your best brings you today no matter what that is. And persevere. Don’t ever give up, don’t ever give in. There is more life to be lived if we will but seize it.
Wishing you Strength & Courage for the road ahead. And…a Happy Anniversary to me!
Tim Hague Sr. is an author, internationally sought after professional speaker and Winner of The Amazing Race Canada season #1. Tim was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 46. He hails from Winnipeg Canada where he resides with his wife and children. For event bookings or to learn more about Tim go to www.TimSr.ca.