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The 'Lord of the Rings' Quote That Reveals the Choice People With Parkinson's Have to Make

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My favorite book and movie is the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. I first read the books my senior year at Ohio State after Linda and I were married. I was mesmerized and never fully recovered. Nor did I want to. I am not sure why these books were so appealing to me. The Shire seemed like it would be a nice place to live, thought I would not be a good fit at my size for a “hobbit-hole.” I don’t mind the idea of an adventure, though I have never considered myself to be much of a risk-taker. I would certainly not pick Mordor as a place to visit. I suppose Middle Earth gave me a place to engage my imagination while enjoying dramatic and heroic tales. I was certainly drawn to the idea of departing life from the Grey Havens on a ship bound for the Undying Lands (where all will turn to silver glass).

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Anyway, I was watching “The Fellowship of the Ring” (first movie in the trilogy) yesterday. The company had entered the mines of Moria as a result of the treachery of Saruman. Clearly, Gandalf feared danger which he knew had “been awakened in the mines” as a result of the dwarf’s greed. He hoped they would be able to get through the mines unscathed and continue to their quest to destroy the One Ring. They were resting while Gandalf tried to decide which path to take. He and Frodo had this conversation:

Frodo: “I wish the ring had never come to me.  I wish none of this had ever happened.”

Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. We all must choose what we are going to do with the time that is given to us.”

I was struck by how these words went straight to the heart of what all people who are forced to endure Parkinson’s have to decide. Our lives have been irrevocably changed and we must decide what we are going to do. The good news is that we have warning in advance and with that comes the opportunity for us to (at least some degree) orchestrate our legacy. What do we want to do? How do we want to be remembered?

Linda and I wrestled with that question and agreed that it would be important to us to “finish the race well.” For us, that meant becoming engaged in advocacy activities that we hoped would “make a difference.” Also, spending time with friends and family creating memories. All of this in the context of “living our faith.”

My wish for all of us is that we will take the time to make choices that truly resonate with us. Then live our lives to the fullest, enjoying and appreciating every moment.

This story originally appeared on Shaky Paws Grampa.

Lead photo courtesy of Lord of the Rings Facebook page

Originally published: February 12, 2019
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