The Face of a Barn

Mr. Barn, do you miss your family?

Parkinson’s has too many agonizing challenges to list right here. But when facial muscles refuse to move, a person may appear to express no emotions.

Are they insensitive? Disinterested? Uncaring? No, actually individuals who struggle with Parkinson’s tend to have strong feelings of frustration. As they long for others to see how they feel, unfortunately, Parkinson’s disease disables facial muscles to let them demonstrate emotions.

Nellita, at a time she wanted to scream, happened to drive past a barn. She thought about the time when that barn was built. A family surrounded it. Farm life depended on the loft, the hay, housing for animals, the spacious equipment storage, etc. The kids played countless adventures on all levels of their wooden family member.

But now it stood alone. The family was long gone. Only the foundation remained of the farm house. But there stood the barn.

Nellita longed for the days when she could participate in community events. She never thought she would have to retire so young. Empty, seemingly emotionless, the barn symbolized her current persona.

Then she looked at the north side of the barn. Two upper windows with a shaft running down between them. The semicircular grass covered the ground below the wide open barn doors. “It has a face!”

Her new friend related to her inability to demonstrate feelings. With a fist in the air Nellita proclaimed, “I am a person! I do feel things that Parkinson’s won’t let me show. But no illness will ever take away my dignity!”

As she looked back toward the barn she noticed one of the upper windows was half closed. “He’s winking. He understands.”

Higgins Valley Moments demonstrates family life. Times of shared laughter alternating with the anxiety and remorse daily life delivers. Come along for their journey. In Book I, I Will Stand Up Again, learn details of Nellita’s journey as well as how an entire community unites for her dignity.

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