The JF&CS Parkinson's Community Quilt
Written by: Cynthia Shoemaker

JF&CS Parkinson's Community Quilt - Cynthia ShoemakerWhat, you might ask, does a bird's nest have to do with Parkinson's disease (PD)?

Here is my story about how there was a connection.

I had been diagnosed with PD for about four years when it became more and more clear that it was time to retire from my vocation as a Protestant minister. My stamina was waning, and like so many others with this movement disorder, I found that one of the more difficult tasks of daily living involved climbing up and down stairs. Since I was living in a third floor apartment in a building without an elevator, it was time to move. I dreaded the physical labor of sorting and packing, and the mental strain of deciding what possessions I could keep and what needed to go. I had been living in a housing co-op with friends of thirty+ years, and so the loss of daily contact with them was keen. In December I was fortunate to gain a place in an assisted living facility (with elevators!), but I missed my friends! There were other adjustments as well, such as giving up driving. It was somewhat of a blue winter. On Mother's Day that year it was sunny enough to open my blinds for the first time in months. There on the iron grating below my window was an exquisite robin's nest, not three feet from me, complete with three beautiful blue eggs. For the weeks until the babies fledged, this bird family and I became friends, talking and singing to each other and admiring the little ones' growth. These treasures of nature were one of my PD "silver linings," and I am grateful for the surprising gift they were to me that spring.

Read other blog posts about the JF&CS Parkinson's Community Quilt.

The JF&CS Parkinson's Community Quilt is an initiative of the JF&CS Parkinson's Family Support program.