Wednesday, September 1, 2010


"Relentless (adj): unyeilding; steady and persistent."

Living without regrets requires daily decisions to be relentless. 

Because the momentum or inertia of living is broken by periods of sleep (in my case sporadic), I am forced to decide how I will approach each day.  We all are.  Sure, yesterday informs toda, but it cannot dictate to it.  At least not unless I let it do so.  And waiting expectantly for tomorrow, either in anticipation or dread, often just presses the pause button, putting the only day we have on hold.

The past is gone, yet there is the temptation to long for its less troubled times.  Those of us facing a degenerative disease, although this is just as true of aging, are prone to mourn the losses.  Loss of health, youth, relevance, capacity, vigour, strength, security, relationships, reputation, independence or just the passage of time.  Whatever I am losing, or have lost, can create a "remember when" longing for what was. 

The future is sometimes enough to make me shut my eyes, denying the imminent arrival of battles that must be fought.  It is like facing the end of summer, the arrival of fall and the rain and cold that will follow.  Other times I daydream of travels, adventures and freedom from the demands and troubles of today.  I can easily live lost in anticipation.

Parkinson's disease is relentless.
This blight, although 'kinder' than some illnesses, never allows a week off, or a day or waking hour to rest.  It demands your constant attention like an opponent in the boxing match.  The nightly 'rests between rounds' are more like fitful naps, often overwhelmed by foreshadowing of the continued roughness of the ring.  It is reminiscent of the refrain from the Simon and Garfunkel hit from the 1960s, "The Boxer":

In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that layed him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains

And so I must be relentless. 

Relentless in facing each day with its challenges, disappointments and frustrations.  Relentless in fighting my enemy, staying on my toes, vigilant, ready to attack or defend.  I must let go of mourning the losses.  I must not stand waiting for the future.  I must not take anything for granted.  To the extent humanly possible I must live today so as to have no reason for regrets tomorrow. 

Relentless.  Relentless.  Relentless.


  1. Wonderful post! Relentless is the mind set we all must have in battling PD and living our lives. I truly enjoyed it.

  2. Patrick;

    Always an encourager. At the end of a hard week it was most appreciated.