We learn a awful lot from observation and role models. How we act is often an result of that observation.
My Dad, was a wonderful man, although he got old, his spirit never did. He suffered most of his life from Chron's, but never once complained. My mom was his caretaker for the last two years of his life. She was/is tireless and unflinching. I am convinced that he never would have lived those last two years without her diligence.
My wife is brilliant, logical, disciplined. Many of her actions are to make my life safe. Although I don't often express it, in our "Felix and Oscar" existence, Oscar is lucky to have Felix. My Brother and Sister are always there for me. Both at times, have had health issues of their own, and like our father before them, never complained.
My father-in-law, may he rest in peace, fled Poland in the 1920's. Lost a sister in the Holocaust. Experienced Antisemitism here. Yet through it all, he was the only person that I've ever met, who I never heard utter a bad word about somebody else.
I have three wonderful nieces and a wonderful nephew. My Uncles, Aunts and cousins have always been there for me. I come from a family that accepts everybody else for what they are, and are very comfortable with each other, as long as nobody roots for the Mets.
Role models are not limited to family alone. My friends in two offices, have allowed me a place to meet clients, have meetings and basically feel alive. Much of the Parkinson's slow progress I attribute to their generosity. Keeping me vital has helped keep me alive.
The Husband of one of the assistants in my old office, has had Alzheimer's for about ten years. They are both younger than I am. She has never wavered in her pursuit of giving him the best care possible, while at the same time, raising two very nice kids, and becoming an Advocate for people with the disease. Although she'll speak about her life, I've never heard her complain.
At the same time, while she quietly has become a role model for many in the office, there is an attorney to whom every paper cut is a catastrophe. I often wondered how somebody can be so blind.
Through the Parkinson's support groups on facebook, I've met a number of fellow travelers and an equal number of selfless caretakers. We're all from different places in life, yet this disease has brought us together. Each one of these people are there to support somebody whom they've never met. I'm not a religious person, but I believe that these acts are the acts of truly pious people.
While writing this piece, I received a telephone call from the New York Attorney Client fund about an ex-colleague of mine, who stole money from his escrow account. I was asked to audit the file of one of his clients to figure out exactly how much money was missing. This man had a lucrative practice, yet probably lived above his means. I've always felt that this action was worse than robbing a bank. You know to fear the bank robber.
Everybody has problems. Some people create their own. Most problems are worse than mine.