We Are the Ones We've Been Waiting For

As a kid, my Dad, whenever I talked about not fitting i always told me it was “because I was a leader”. It is NOT particularly comforting as a 10 year old! I some times wanted to be just like everyone else. I wanted to fit in, wanted to feel like I ‘had a tribe’ and I didn’t have to stick out.

Now some of what my Dad was trying to fix was that he didn’t want me to not feel comfortable in my own skin, and ahead of his time didn’t see his daughters success in life any different than his son’s.

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As a young professional, when talking about changing the system (maybe my Dad had been right), my Dad would tell me “Just tell your own story. People will listen”. So as an adoptee, starting the first ever Open Adoption program in the region - I learned to tell my story in a way that was meant to help others, and not just about me.

I also learned to pay attention to my own hurts, my mis steps, and my heart - to try and make things better than they had been for me. I definitely had some credibility because I had been on a similar path as the people that I “helping”. It was a risk to be the first few people doing a brand new thing to build their families; especially when their hearts and souls were already bruised. But I also read like crazy, and went to conferences and learned - because people’s trust mattered to me.

So it was my pain and my joy that guided me - with the experience of others - to help change the system. (And the support of my parents, clearly)

Whatever brings you to this website - dealing with your own Parkinson’s, because you love someone with Parkinson’s, because you are trying to learn more about the disease - YOU are the ONE you have been waiting for. YOU have a story to tell that brings you here right now, and YOUR STORY is important. And we need you.

It’s how we find our tribe, our place, our community and the support to keep moving. Speak up, educate others, keep open to learning. (in reality, it’s how this website even came to be)

Don’t let anyone tell you you are “just a patient” or “just a caregiver” - you are a PERSON, no matter how sick you or your loved one gets - and you help lead those of us who need to learn.

Ruth Almen

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Parkinson's Place