Take Time To Appreciate

The people that we encounter leave indelible impressions that can last a lifetime. When in I was in my early twenties and unable to get a diagnosis of my illness, some individuals that I did not know all that well showed me kindness that I remain grateful for to this day.

I had moved to a city that I did not know well and had no friends. I was drawn to an art gallery that specialized in nature photography. The photographs were comforting as was the gallery owner and photographer who were one and the same. His name was Patrick and he became a dear friend. His gallery gave me solace. On a day when I needed a getaway, Patrick’s gallery was my sanctuary.

Before I left town, I bought 2 of Patrick’s amazing southwest desert photos. The photos were not just pieces of art but they were reminders of our friendship and the gift his friendship meant to me. I don’t think I ever told Patrick what his friendship meant or how he got me through some dark days with his mentoring.

Patrick and I lost touch as many of us often do when we move away. Not until recently did it occur to me to look Patrick up and reconnect with him through social media. I couldn’t find him anywhere. After racking my brain to how I might find him, I remembered that we had a mutual friend who was a photographer. I contacted our mutual friend after 20+ years In hope that he could tell me where Patrick might be. A few days later, I got my answer.

The email said he was sorry that he didn’t have better news and it linked to a website. I clicked on the website and it linked to the local paper. The paper announced Patrick’s obituary and read from the year 2007 that Patrick had had a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

I was filled with regret that I had lost touch and had failed to realize what he had done for me. I had let too much time pass.  I wasn’t there for him like he had been there for me. I was and am very sorry but I learned a huge lesson from Patrick and I am thankful.

  • When someone shows you kindness, make sure that you express your gratitude so that they know how you feel.
  • Share the gratitude that you feel for that special person who stepped into your life to make a lasting impression. Feel the need to pass it on.
  • Don’t wait to share your feelings with those people in your life. You may not get another opportunity.

I am grateful that I can share the gift that Patrick gave to me. I hope that you will share it as well.

About Karl Robb

Karl Robb has had Parkinson’s disease (PD) for over twenty-five years. Karl believes he has had PD since he was seventeen years old and was diagnosed at the age of twenty-three. Now fifty, he is a Parkinson advocate, entrepreneur, inventor, writer, blogger, photographer, Reiki Master, and speaker on PD issues. Karl is the author of the book, A Soft Voice in a Noisy World: A Guide to Dealing and Healing with Parkinson’s Disease. He has been chosen as a blogger partner for the 4th World Parkinson Congress being held this September in Portland, Oregon. He has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His writing has been featured in The New York Post and he has appeared on BBC radio, the CBS Saturday Evening News, Japanese television, as well as several local Washington, D.C., television stations. Karl is a former board member and a Virginia assistant state director of the Parkinson’s Action Network and a board member of the Parkinson Voice Project. You may reach Karl via email at asoftvoice@gmail.com, visit his blog at www.asoftvoice.com, on Facebook, or contact him via Twitter @asoftvoicepd.

Posted on February 23, 2015, in Education & Support, Parkinson's Disease, Philosophy, support groups and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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