Everyone has a story…

November 16, 2017

The title says it all… Everyone has a story to tell.

I wrote the majority of this post before I even started my blog. Since then, I have read it every few days thinking… ‘maybe I’ll post it this week’ but kept coming up with reasons not to hit publish. So before I continue posting all of these pictures of cute clothes & bopping around Nashville like my life is picture perfect; I need to share this with you all. It is very important to me to be real and honest.

Here’s my story…

At the beginning of this year, I was driving in my car and thought to myself… “Life is REALLY good right now. The best its been in years. I need to enjoy this moment and remember it, because I have a feeling this won’t last long.”

Fast forward a couple months… I had two of my best friends over for dinner. We were just talking, enjoying a glass of wine, when I had this urge to tell them, “I feel like something bad is going to happen.” It was like word vomit. Concerned, Kate asked why. “I don’t know, but I have this feeling. It is almost like God is preparing me for something.”

The next morning, my mom texted me really early to ask if I could talk. We talk every day but never in the mornings. I knew she had something important to say and that this was probably what God had been mentally preparing me for.

She went on to tell me that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

549088_3864970017317_1401457896_n

My first thought… How could this be part of God’s plan? Why my mom?

This is the woman who has so selflessly done everything for my brother, dad, and me our entire lives. Seriously though… everything! She deserves the WORLD! She is a wonderful mom, daughter, wife and friend. She is so thoughtful and kind. And oh boy is she talented… she is so creative… you name it, she can do it, from painting, interior design, to writing.  She helps me a lot with this blog. She also has her own blog about Parkinson’s that I will possibly share in the future if she wants me to.

With news like this, it can be hard to find the silver lining, but it has become so obvious to me to over the past few months.

The silver lining is my mom’s strength and determination since her diagnosis 6 months ago. I couldn’t be more proud to be her daughter.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this disease. Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, degenerative neurological disorder that affects one in 100 people over age 60. Well at least, that is what you will find if you google Parkinson’s…

But there is something wrong with that definition. Research shows that there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to slow and quite possibly even reverse the symptoms. Plus, my mom isn’t even 60 years old…

After her diagnosis, my mom decided she was going to do everything she could to tackle this disease head on and that is exactly what she is doing. She is stepping WAY out of her comfort zone. She is going to acupuncture, changing her diet significantly, going to boxing classes, meditating, working out with a personal trainer, starting a blog to create a community… and the list goes on & on…

From all of these lifestyle changes, she is slowing the progression and even reversing some of her symptoms.

Determination and strength are the two words that come to mind when I think of my mom. This is going to be a journey and every day isn’t perfect, but it is my family’s goal to provide her with the best support system we possibly can.

Why am I sharing such personal news? Well… I honestly haven’t even told some of my best friends. But the more the news of my mom’s diagnosis has been shared among family and friends, the more I realize that not everyone is receiving the full picture that my family gets to witness day to day. It is very important to me that our friends and family see how much my mom is doing and that we create an encouraging circle of support around her. I want her to feel like she has an army behind her encouraging her every step of the way.

I’m also sharing to help create awareness. When I first heard the diagnosis, my first thought was “I know this isn’t a good thing, but I really don’t know enough about it.” So I spent the next few weeks reading every blog post, watching videos, and researching to try to learn as much as I possibly could about Parkinson’s.

As you scroll through your social media feeds or walk past people who seem like they have it all together, just remember that everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is facing their own battles. 

I’m sure my mom will be the first one to read this because she is… well… the best mom ever and has always been my biggest fan no matter what I decide to take on. 😉 Mom, I love you so much! I’m so thankful for you.

If you are reading this and are one of my close friends, wondering why I haven’t told you. I honestly don’t have a good answer to that question; except that, everyone handles situations their own way. For me, my first instinct was never to run to social media or to text friends.

Thank you for reading.

Love, Natalie

Check out my mom’s artwork here.

family

My amazing family…. love them SO SO much!!!

family 2

\

%d bloggers like this: