JP-Bd. Thx

If “it” has a name, then you can deal with “it.” Fight “it.” If “it” has a name “it” is a quantifiable enemy that can be vanquished.

Decades ago, on a crisp Fall day I walked out of an office with a name—a diagnosis. ADHD—the “it” that ailed my older stepson, the one I don’t talk about a lot because talking of the dead often sours a group’s mood. He had a learning disability and a neurological difference, both of which had names. And, therefore, professionals who could help those now defined, named challenges, writ from confounding shadows.  I now had names for his demons and could employ angels to work with me and his father to contain them.  I cried tears of joy just like those that flowed when the teacher at his learning different school told me he was smart at the first report day. ” I knew it,” I choked out to his father, my then love, relief flooding my face and the Kleenex.

“It” had a name. A space. A definition. And possibly a (hopeful?) path.

On April 11,1755, the man who would give my twitch and all of its random yet connected symptoms a name was born.   Dr. James Parkinson’s observational essay, An Essay on the Shaking Palsy of 1817 still defines my “it.”

The jokes about my middle-of-the-night emails. The trouble with stairs I’d attributed only to my new bifocals, the bouts of constipation… “it” had a name — years in the making I now know. A definable. Tangible. Name. With its own coterie of professionals to help me fight “it”.

Parkinson’s Disease.

Thank you, Dr. James Parkinson for naming my fight. I now take up arms against your namesake while thanking your keen, defining insights.

So, on this day, the one that gave my “it” (at least one of them) a name, I ask you, dear reader, to name yours. The plus. The minus. The demon or the angel. Name that bitch. You may not win your battle against it. My elder stepson died of a drug overdose … maybe we named his “it” too late… didn’t find all of them …. Maybes plague my nightmares… His drug overdose likely would not have been deadly had his “friends” been more responsible… tortuous machinations of what might’ve been in a future post … maybe.

But you CAN fight a good fight against that good “it” … but only if you name your foe.


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