Who's in your Lemonade Stand?

Mostly I can’t stop thinking about my friend - and maybe yours too - Cidney, who is going in for DBS surgery tomorrow. Send her all the good stuff you got, eh? Prayers, incense, smiles and love and laughter - she’ll take it! So much of anything I would say as a social worker pales in comparison.

So I want to talk about Pat’s Lemonade Stand. Pat is Cidney’s husband, and you can find his eloquent and insightful blogs on here. Over dinner last night he said (reflecting on his blog about making lemonade out of lemons, and what he has seen folks with Parkinson’s do) “What if we had a lemonade stand at every event. Even Davis Phinney events. And people could write on it and say who they have seen make lemonade. And it would be all these wonderful comments!” And inspiration. It would be purely inspirational. Which is what I hear some of you say you need when you have Parkinson’s.

So, take a minute. And here’s your virtual blank chalkboard. Who would you tell a story about? Who do you know that you think made something from nothing, made good come from bad, beat the impossible odds and inspired YOU do to do better? Can you see them? Do you know them?

blank chalkboard.jpg

So write their name down, tell their story - and then go tell them how much they inspire you. Say thank you. Send a personal note. Or email. Put up a post it note where you need to be reminded. Give thanks in whatever manner you do, through prayer, through a hug, through that personal note or phone call.

Gratitude increases mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience. - Amy Morin, Psychology Today,, April 3, 2015

So now that you are so inspired, and full of gratitude - it’s hard to note share it, and enjoy the company of others who always bring you that kind of inspiration.

So I am thankful for my 6 fellow PPLV colleagues and friends, who have helped me find a home, and a place in Las Vegas and who inspire me and challenge me and laugh with me and comfort me and break bread with me and give me a sense of belonging. Cid and Pat and Martie and Christian and Robert and Darbe - I’ll make room for you in my Lemonade Stand any day.

if you’ve gotten this far, just know that you have found them all too. Because they are all here, in the blogs and the website and the events we create and support.

Come join us!

Ruth Almén 

Parkinson's Place