Thanksgiving in the midst of adversity: By Maria De Leon

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“In all things give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

As the years go by, I find that it is the small things in life that truly matter. It is these things that make a life worth living and worth remembering – so this thanksgiving season I like to express my gratitude for the small things that punctuate my life in the midst of my ongoing ever complex not one but two chronic illnesses. Having now been diagnosed with lupus as well!

This year has been a year of many important milestones- celebrating 20th anniversary, turning 50, getting the opportunity to be a ‘starlet’ for a week, reuniting with long lost friends, honored to give first all women with Parkinson’s conference in Indiana, had the honor to be part of an avant-garde weekend retreat for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers in South Dakota with nearly a 100 in attendance, being part of a pilot program to help young women to grow spiritually, learn life skills, and be empowered in the midst of their circumstances in order to thrive as successful adults turning into tomorrow’s fearless mothers, wives, friends, professionals and leaders. Finally, I also had the privilege of having my ‘parkinsonsdiva’ blog be recognized twice as one of the BEST! In the PD community (This of course could not happen without all you wonderful people (women) who take time to read it and make it one of the best! thank you!)

I was touched by one of the most beautiful common experiences which took an unexpected twist for a memorable and meaningful events of my life just when I needed hope and encouragement the most.

We all know that most of our lives are punctuated by peaks and valleys and although we wish we could go from peak to peak there is still something beautiful and comforting in the valleys. The valleys in biblical times is where one was most certain to find God and healing could commence from inside out. But aside from finding salvation in the least likely of places, we also have signs that continue to inspire us and gives us hope in our daily walks. When my dad was terminally ill, I witnessed the most magnificent double rainbow as I was driving home full of tears on my way back from the hospital and upon seeing such spectacular view I felt at peace and knew everything was going to be okay.

Four years later, about the same time my dad started his downward decline I began to have serious medical issues which have been taking me away to some extent from you and the things I love. Yet, on my way back from a very long and arduous trip to the hospital and a slew of specialist as I dosed off while my mom drove, I saw the edge of a rainbow. I wondered out loud if anyone had ever seen the end of a rainbow- after all they are said to be full circles which I had privilege of seeing once before in the Las Vegas. Perhaps there instead of a pot of gold I could find a greater treasure like health once more.

Suddenly, I began to see one rainbow after another all sizes and brilliance and then we came to the end of a rainbow it merged right into the spot where our car was standing at the light but if you looked up it seem to sprout out of us from inside the car. I sat up and marveled at the phenomenon but in the next 40 minutes of our journey this occurrence took place at least 4 more times.-lifting my sadness, and strengthening my weakening resolve to keep on fighting for the people and the things I love most. Just to let me know that these signs from heaven were not mere coincidences that he still was in control of my live and my well-being and that my faith in God had been duly noted for once we arrived to a sunny home leaving rain behind- when I stepped out once more as the sun was beginning to set amidst a purplish sky there it was once more a splendid rainbow across the sky.
You may say, how can I give thanks living with PD? Or how can I find joy in my present circumstances? Believe me, I understand your trepidation. Is not easy to feat to face our fears but you can do it because you are not alone. We (especially me) are here to share the rainbows with you to help find your inner peace and conquer the valleys of loneliness, illness, frustration, and hopelessness. As I have learned to conquer my fears of living life with a progressive debilitating illness and face head on an uncertain future by believing in God you too can find harmony and give thanks in the midst of adversity.

Although, there have been many losses I have also experienced many great things this year when is all added up the pluses will definitely outweigh the negatives. I continue to be grateful for my health however failing it maybe at times, my family, friends and the whole Parkinson’s community who has invited me into their homes.
Thank you,
Parkinson’s Diva
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Copyright2018
All rights reserved by Maria De Leon MD

13 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in the midst of adversity: By Maria De Leon

  1. Maria, I look forward to your blog, and always feel better after I read it. Your messages if hope, love and faith resonate deeply with me and help me to face my own future with more optimism and courage. Even though Parkinson’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis have stiffened my hands and slowed me down considerably, I still pursue my landscape photography and jewelry design whenever I can. And you help me do that. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. All the best Amanda Royce-Hale

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    • Amanda. Thank you so very much for writing and being a supporter but mostly because I am glad God can use my humble writing and words to bring hope and encouragement to his children throughout and let them know that they are very much loved! Many blessings to you and happy thanksgiving 🦃🍽🍁

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  2. Thank you Dr de Leon for sharing your heartfelt thoughts about your personal struggles. Seeing rainbows surely does lift our spirits when we are experincing the valleytimes. Knowing we will rise again with God’s love brings beauty into the struggle to carry on in His strength. May God bless you for being there for all of us in this world of PD.

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving Maria! Thank you for your stories of rainbows. People have said our living room feels like a tree house with a Forrest and stream. Sometimes when I feel down, I look up to see an owl, or eagle, or heron, or a mallard floating down stream. I believe they were sent by God to remind me that I am part of a larger family and have not been forgotten.

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  4. Dear Maria
    The best of health and Happy Thanksgiving from Parkinson’s Divas Lunch Group in Australia
    Thank you for all you do for people with Parkinson’s
    Jenny 🌷x

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    • Joyce ..so glad this helped you find comfort in Gods word and hi spromises as I often do..will continue to pray for strength, courage, and delivery through his grace and mercy …many blessings and happy thanksgiving 🍁🍽🦃

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