Ordinary and Extraordinary
01 April 2006

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 13 years ago, God's love shines on and from my mother.

FOR ALMOST SIX YEARS, rain or shine, my mother and I have gone for a daily walk together. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 13 years ago, my mother has kept mobile by walking every day.

Recently, she moved out of our home into a small group home. Now our walks are in a new neighbourhood, and we take with us one of the home's seven other residents.

My mother is deeply bent from osteoporosis, and as we walk her eyes are directed firmly at the ground. She uses her cane to prod bits of grass, small sticks or gravel, and comments on the variety of objects she sees. Rachel, who holds my other hand, looks up at the tall trees, the lawns, the houses and the cars, and with a broad sweep of her free hand pronounces the world to be 'wonderful, beautiful, amazing'.

We stop frequently to watch a butterfly, a squirrel, or a bird... often interchangeable in the somewhat blurred vision of both Rachel and my mother. The rare cars that pass slow down, and most drivers wave or smile at us.

After our gentle ramble, we sit on a bench to recover from our exertions, and we drink a glass of water. My mother is quiet; Rachel tells me for the umpteenth time that my mother is beautiful, and has blue eyes and is cute. I relax into God's love shining on and from my mother and Rachel, and am grateful.