Sunday, 1 December 2013

“This was my finest hour!”

Adapted from the words of Winston Churchill.

Parkinson’s disease is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”. Its affect on me, the way it separates my mind from my body, means “the stations of uncensored expression are closing down; the lights are going out; but there is still time for those to whom freedom…means something, to consult together. Let me, then, speak in truth and earnestness while time remains”.

The Parkinson’s dictatorship forms a “society where I may not speak my mind, where my body denounces” and denies my mind. Parkinson’s can only “go forward; he cannot go back”; he must “blood his hounds” and then both of us will be “devoured by them”.

We must say “No” to this! “There, in one single word, is the resolve which the forces of freedom and progress, of tolerance and good will, should take”. We must “banish from all our lives the fear which already darkens the sunlight”.

“We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many long years of toil and struggle”. In response to this “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”. So, “whatever the cost may be, we shall fight Parkinson’s on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!”

“Today I may say aloud before an awe-struck world, 'I am still master of my fate. I am still captain of my soul”. This is thanks to the support of the special “few”; my family and friends; “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed”.

Parkinson’s has “received back again that measure of fire and steel which it has so often meted out to me. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning" of coming to terms with this disease.

If I last a thousand years, I will still say, “This was my finest hour!”


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