30 Days of PD: My Father Taught Me That Life Is Precious

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by BNS Staff |

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Michael Morale

Michael Morale (left) and Nick Morale (right). Photo courtesy of Michael Morale

Day 26 of 30

This is Michael Morale’s story:

On Oct. 10, 2015, my father, Nick Morale, drew his last breath, but his battle with Parkinson’s disease started long before his passing. Not long after my mother’s passing in 2008, my father started showing signs of early-onset Parkinson’s.

Before he started showing signs of Parkinson’s, my father was the role model for health. He was a master sergeant in the Texas National Guard, and I used to call him my little Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was the type of person that if you knew you were going to get into a fight in a dark alley, he would be the one that you would want on your side.

Watching my father go through the different stages of Parkinson’s was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. The mild twitching in his hands slowly turned to spasms, but luckily, it didn’t impact his quality of life until much later. As his Parkinson’s increased in severity, his balance and walking became a constant reminder of this horrific disease.

Through all of it, his attitude, spirit, and love of God never diminished. He told me that even though this disease would rob him of some of life’s “normal” joys, and while he knew that his life would forever change, he never fell victim to depression.

Having spinal muscular atrophy myself, and being confined to a wheelchair since birth, I was taught by my father that my lack of physical strength was just a small portion of my life. He taught me that even though I may be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, I had so much to live for.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones who had good parents while growing up, and even though my father went through ups and downs in his life, the glass was never half empty. While I miss both of my parents terribly each and every day, my Christian beliefs tell me that they are in Heaven holding hands and living a life that we will all live eventually.

Note: Michael Morale is an employee of BioNews Inc.

Parkinson’s News Today’s 30 Days of PD campaign will publish one story per day for Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month in April. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPD, or read the full series.