Turtle Shell & Faith

Mary Killian

A prayer and a warm cup of tea is a great way to start off your morning after an enjoyable and fun weekend.  I’m feeling more relaxed this morning than I have in a long time and it’s not from the delicious cup of warm tea. It’s actually from the cups of faith and friendship that I received Saturday night. I went into a party feeling vulnerable and out of place.

My world usually consists of limited family, persoKTno5kkjcns with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. They are my strength and my crutch. When I go out, I normally crawl up in my hard shell like a turtle and don’t let anyone see who I have become. Over the past 12 years I have been ill and have built a home in this nice secure shell, closing out family, friends and my faith.

For some reason this Saturday I felt different.  I walked into the party with a smile on my face and if you know Parkinson’s you know facial expressions slowly come to an end.  I slowly stuck out my head a few times to make sure everything was safe. When I saw an old familiar face I slowly walked over and was greeted with a warm smile.  I then knew I was safe and it was time to come out of the comfort of my shell. Little did I know I was about to pour out  my heart and soul. However I still needed my husband to come around, just for only a second or so to feel comforted and know I would be okay.

My friend listened to me intently as I poured it all out about living with Parkinson’s and the trials and tribulations of life. I was proud that I didn’t portray  “ poor, poor, pitiful me” attitude since that is really not me.  She sat there not judging, not pushing faith or God, not making me feel less, but listening to every word, encouraging me and showing her kindness and compassion.

The St. Michael Community saw me not only more vulnerable but also after using up all my “spoons” (that’s another blog) and lack of medication, a feeling that my knees were going to drop me to the ground and needing assistance to walk out to the car where my wonderful son Brandon was waiting to drive us home.  Surprisingly I didn’t feel embarrassed because that is just Parkinson’s and I do the best to get around with this incurable disease.

I want to thank those that reached out with a helping hand, the ones with a touch of your caring heart and lots of 8kind words.  You all helped me feel at ease.  I want to thank Tom Ruggiero for his hospitality, Bill Downey for his delicious cooking and others that brought some delicious appetizers and cookies.   Dan Ryan for calling me out and laughing with me and not at me.

Pat Mangeot for the compliments on my postings on Facebook, my husband Tony for his caring and patient heart and for pushing me to stick with the St. Michael community, Kirk Senn for speaking with me and letting his wife sit with me and last, but definitely not least, Pam Senn for letting me vent, listening to me and staying by my side.  Your friendship and thoughtfulness is  greatly appreciated.

I am excited to say “I walked out of there feeling stronger than I have in a long time.” That feeling made my blood flow through my veins and that was invigorating.

Thanks, St.  Michael Catholic Church football coaches, Athletic Board, their families, and community for helping me feel at ease and accepted.  Hopefully because of this kindness and renewed faith I can find a way to make it back to mass.

I’ve been praying for strength, friendship and faith and I believe my prayers are being answered.

Time to log off to create more “”spoons” to make it through this day.

I hope everyone has a blessed week

  • Mary Killian


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