Cherish Life’s Fleeting Moments and Do Not Surrender

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

by Sherri Woodbridge |

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I am not the first to realize how quickly time flies. My oldest son turned 34 this year. I remember thinking my mom was really old when I found out that she was 34. Ha. Little did I know how young she really was.

I sometimes send myself into shock when I think about how old my children have become and how quickly. How quickly the days and the years pass. There are no do-overs, nor are there second chances. It can leave you feeling sad. I watch my grandson each day and I am fully aware of how the same thing is happening to him. And to me. Each day comes. Each day goes. No second chances. No do-overs.

One day at a time.
They’re gone.

As a young mother or father, it is hard to realize how fast the time passes by. Oh, there are moments when the doctor tells you little Jimmy has grown a foot and you wonder how that could be, for it was just yesterday you were counting his stubby little toes. You’re too busy changing diapers and feeding hungry bellies. You’re engulfed in tubs of laundry and running to Little League events.Throughout all of the busyness, you are so consumed with the next activity that you lose sight that this could be one of “the lasts.” When once you thought you had forever, now you realize you may not have tomorrow. The games are over. The baby clothes are given away. The Big Wheels are worn out.

I am not sure how all that came running out, except to say it was May before I realized Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April was over and I mostly flaked out on making others aware. Go ahead. Throw the tomatoes. I don’t really think I could have done much better.

As my grandkids keep growing and refuse to slow down ― no matter how much I plead and beg them to stop ― I often wonder when will be the last day I’ll rock them because they just won’t fit in my lap anymore? Or the day, when I pick them up, when they won’t come running into my arms anymore? The time when they won’t be enamored with a hummingbird and wave goodbye as it buzzes away?

Sometimes life has a way of bringing us down. The thing we need to try to avoid is staying down. When dealing with a chronic illness day in and day out, that can feel somewhat impossible some days. We can lose the desire to be a part of the fleeting days and may rather flee right along with them.

That’s one reason I watch my grandkids. Life is so very precious and we aren’t promised tomorrow. That can be taken two ways.

First, we aren’t promised tomorrow in that we may not have the opportunity ever again to spend time with those we love. We may choke on an olive at dinner tonight, and that will be the end of life as we know it.

Second, we aren’t promised tomorrow, in that we may still be here physically, but too soon our grandkids may just about tip our wheelchairs over if they were to get on our laps now. They grow up too fast.

I know that should I avoid choking on an olive at dinner tonight, I may very possibly still not be able to do things with others because of the journey on which this disease is taking me. And so, I must make a choice.

In spite of what can be excruciating pain, loss of mobility, tiredness, and everything else that can come with Parkinson’s disease, do I say forget it and give in to that dying spirit or choose to endure the pain and whatever else may come and keep fighting this thing?

I choose to fight.

Today, however, I know there are some of you who may not be so sure. That is what prompted this post. Somebody may feel like giving up, like giving in. Please don’t.

If you don’t have the strength to fight emotionally, reach out to someone. You can write me or message me on Facebook. Find someone, so you know that you are not in this alone. I will fight with you. I will fight for you. I’ve been there in the dark places, and fighting is so much better because even in the pain, life ― just like rocking grandchildren ― is so very precious.


Note: Parkinson’s News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Parkinson’s News Todayor its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s Disease. 


Bridie avatar


Beautifully expressed. Tears falling down my cheeks. I have only 2 grandchildren now young adults and wonder what is ahead for them. My symptoms particularly early morning and evening are horrible and I could drop my 'bundle' but I'm fighting too.

You are an inspiration Sherri to your family and the rest of the Parkinson's World.

Sherri Woodbridge avatar

Sherri Woodbridge

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. It made my day!

Tom Randall avatar

Tom Randall

"cherish life's fleeting moments." Indeed! All of our moments are fleeting no matter how discretely we divide them up. Here is a poem by W. S. DiPiero titled "Some Voice".

Some Voice

Past the silky gondola hulls
arcaded in the boatyard,
we walked that afternoon
to our favorite grubby campo,
empty except for cats
and one plane tree, with bench.
We loved it so much. We walked
just to be there, imagining
sometime we'd spend the night.
The little hotel, its frank lantern,
its dim sign dimmer by day,
we'd remember, just like that.

The tree's patchy shades worked
down your arm as it pointed up,
over there, locating the voice,
its open window, the soprano scales
tipped down to us. All life
is hidden life. Don't believe
everything you hear. To us,
or not to us, her voice fell
into that year, then ten more.

Routine practice doesn't call
to anyone, it simply falls
through footbridges, black hulls,
and plane tree. When we went back,
the singing wasn't there for us.
We take what's given and work
with that. The rest is grace.

W. S. Di Piero

I believe in grace. It doesn't have to be religious grace, but it is a moment that comes unbidden and is ours to treasure. We just have to attend to our world. For that moment of grace supersedes everything else. And more will come in our time.


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