Uninvited Guest

Sharing is caring!

Left to right: My sister Rebecca, my mama, me, and my brother Marty
This piece is written by my mama, LaRue Winslow.

No cure in sight

April was Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. Another year has passed and no cure in sight. While life was happening, this invisible, uninvited guest moved in and now he won’t leave. Sometimes I call him “Mr. Parky.” He resides on the right side of my body. He is such a nuisance. I made a deal with “Mr. Parky.” If he only stays on my right side, I won’t have him evicted. I wish!

Carrying an uninvited guest

I’ve heard people say, “Parkinson’s Disease won’t kill you, you will just wish that you were dead.” I don’t feel that way. Every day is a gift. If my symptoms become severe, maybe I will have a different opinion. I pray I’ll be a lucky one and still be gardening at 100+ years old. I thank God for the sunshine. It warms my bones and clears my head.

I didn’t choose this disease, but I can choose how I handle it. You have to grieve for what you have lost before you can find your new normal. I try to be positive but once in a while it gets the best of me. It is not easy carrying around an uninvited guest.


I fell apart at my sister-in-laws funeral. I was already sad and shaken over losing her to pancreatic cancer at 67 years old the Friday before Mother’s Day. A complete meltdown ensued, and I even barked at my husband for looking at me. Hannah offered to carry my plate in the food line. I flatly told her “no.” I won the tug-of-war with the plate, but I felt so useless. And yes, I apologized later. I didn’t realize she knew that I had fallen in Cracker Barrel in Greenville. I was carrying two take out plates and a drink refill for the road. Cracker Barrel was packed. The plates started sliding and I forgot to pick up my right foot. What a mess!

My body has no automatic. I have to tell my feet to move. My brain sends out the signal but the command can’t get where it needs to go. My body is not producing enough of a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is an important messenger that carries signals between brain cells.

Walking with me

My family keeps me going. Even the young grandkids keep an eye on me. Once I started down the hallway, and one of my granddaughters saw me having trouble with my foot. It just wouldn’t do what I wanted so I slapped my leg hard. She didn’t say a word, took my hand, and took off walking with me. I looked down at her smiling and walking just like me. What a memory!

Did you think you would ever see a time when you couldn’t hug your kids or grandkids? I miss them so much and I miss having 20+ people over on Sundays. I miss cooking with the kids and having ice cream socials on the porch while the kids mix up buckets of mud to paint my sidewalks.

I’m so fortunate. They all stop by to check on me and bring me the best treats. To name a few: Sherries Berries, Pro Flowers, Hot and Ready doughnuts, ice cream, cheese, and Layden’s chocolate covered peanuts and raisins. Yum, yum.

If you see me

If you see me out and about and I’m standing still like a statue, my foot is frozen. You can’t imagine how embarrassing it can be. It only lasts a few seconds, but it seems like forever. Everyone wants to help, but there’s nothing they can do except lighten your load and carry your packages.

The worst is when you are nearing a doorway and a sweet little old couple gets there ahead of you. The little old lady smiles and walks on in. The little old man holds the door and says “Come on in young lady” and my foot freezes. If I reply, “My foot is stuck” people look at me like I’m from another planet, that confused look. Maybe I should say, “I have a foot cramp” or “my ankle locked.”

I wish I could find a doctor who actually has Parkinson’s Disease. Perhaps they’d be more understanding. Still, I feel blessed. I lived 55 years of my life without meds. I applaud couples who have young-onset Parkinson’s and are raising their children. As hard as it must be, I don’t know how they handle it.

Pray for a cure

Let’s all of us continue to pray for a cure. When a cure is found, I can kick “Mr. Parky” to the curb. He is an uninvited guest who has worn out his welcome.

For more information on Parkinson’s, check out these great resources:

You may also like...


  1. Lisa Layden says:

    Love you, Larue. Miss seeing you and especially your sweet hugs!!

    1. Hannah says:

      Thank you! Love you too!

  2. Love this story, great job . None of us knows what awaits us. We just have to do our best.

    1. Hannah says:

      Thank you Cynthia!

  3. Neesie says:

    We need to be reminded. . .what we aren’t dealing with. . .but could be. How blessed we are. . .even in the storm. That awful things happen to really good people. . .but God is still in control and sovereign. That when we are living our lives from day to day and don’t think we need it. . .we can be uplifted and encouraged by someone who is going through a struggle for “such a time as this”. We need each other. We need the good and bad that any one person may bring to the table.

    1. Hannah says:

      Thank you! I love your comment!

  4. Bertha Byrum Blanchard says:

    Oh LaRue! How beautiful you have written your inner feelings. I’m praying for you and all who LIVE their BEST life in spite of their health challenges.

    1. Hannah says:

      Thank you for reading and for commenting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *