Another hill to climb

I used to really be into bushwalking. My wife & I would often do a bushwalk to kick off any holidays that we had. Nowadays we still like to go for our walks; although age has dictated that the hills we climb aren’t anywhere near as steep as the ones we would attempt in our younger more fit years. But still we try.

You soon learn that the peaks are the pathway to the best views, the places that you stop and stock up on inspiration. You also discover that this sort of optic on the world is quite a good metaphor for life itself. If the metaphor is that life is a constant series of mountain peaks and valleys, each with its own unique challenge.

Some 5+ years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease; YAY!! I reflected then, that it was a real virtual road block being told that there is something wrong with your body. I’m painfully aware that in the health stakes, there are plenty of challenging diseases going around. People live and die with all manner of adversity that invades their daily space. I now have one of my own. I found out very quickly that barring divine intervention, there was no cure; full stop.

The ride over the ensuing years since the diagnosis has been a constant learning & readjustment as I had to learn & re-learn what this body can and cannot do. I won’t overdramatise this point; suffice to say that having my wife beside me has been the difference between coping & giving up. Seeing family & close friends deal with with their own adversity becomes something that you can draw great strength from such as; watching my oldest brother deal with his infirmities has given me courage where & when it was most needed; seeing my mate Dave deal with his radically readjusted body has inspired me; watching my friends D & H deal with a cancer diagnosis that jumped on them out of nowhere re-defined humility, trust & faith. The number of people who have genuinely got in my face reminding me that they were there with and for me, brings a tear to my eye as I type this. (thanks for the visit Johnny B)

The reason I am typing this? Next week is a big week for Bernie & I and our beautiful large family. On Wednesday, I am scheduled to have an operation called deep brain stimulation, which in a nutshell, is a pacemaker for the brain. If you want to know more about it look up DBS (rather than put up the gory details here) I will be in hospital for nearly a week and off work for 6 weeks. With a disease that has no known cure, this procedure offers the best possibility for a more stable path up subsequent mountains. If it doesn’t work then we will deal with that too. I am writing partly coz it’s a way of dealing with my own thoughts on the matter; I am also writing, coz so many people have been texting or calling, cheering me on etc; this has been humbling & overwhelming so I just wanted to acknowledge that and cover off a general “this is what’s happening” note.

So there it is. I’m looking forward to starting the walk up the next mountain; apparently the views make it worth the effort.

Love to all
Mick Mc

Oh & PS: I heard someone sarcastically commenting on the response that some people are given to making when confronted with these sorts of challenges i.e. “my thoughts & prayers are with you”. Gotta tell ya; hearing person after person speak such things to me, Bernie & the kids, I would much rather live in that world, than a world that couldn’t give a rats you know what. What is the alternative?? That I’m not thinking of you, and I’m not praying for you? Give me a break!!

8 thoughts on “Another hill to climb

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  1. Hi Mick, Wishing you all the best next week, will certainly keep you and Bernie and the family in my prayers, I was given a little stone from Jenny tonight with the words from Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the Lord for help… will rise on wings like eagles.  Fly high next week lovely man. Blessings Carol

  2. Oh Mick. I am so sorry. You don’t deserve this. I will be praying. Hoping. Wanting the best. Thinking. Great piece of writing. Love to you all x Leigh

  3. Last week you told me about some time you spent with eldest brother.

    Some time later a song jumped into my head.

    It’s a bit corny but nonetheless appropriate.

    ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’

    And then I thought through the words buried in my memory- from many years

    It’s a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we’re on the way to there
    Why not share?
    And the load
    Doesn’t weigh me down at all
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    He’s my brother
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    So- worse case scenario… there is no improvement post surgery….
    You will have to tolerate songs from 1969 – the worst thing would be I will sing it for you.

    The best thing will be- all of your siblings will sing in harmony.


  4. Beautiful words and reflections Mick. And you know what, my wonderful brother ….
    My thoughts and prayers are genuinely with you and Bernie.
    Love you both always xo

  5. Oh my friend! The journey! The hills we climb. Thank you for the warmth and the smile you bring whenever I bump into you.
    Thinking and praying for you as you travel through this time xx

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