248 Days To Mt. Kilimanjaro – Birthdays Are Awesome – At 52, I Will Climb A Mountain & Help Cure PD

I have always loved birthdays! Some people dread turning another year older older, but not me! The way I see it, every year I am still learning new things, I accomplish new goals, I meet new people, and finally at this age, I am at a place in life that I surround myself with the people and the things that feel good and bring happiness and joy!

At the young age of 52, I can walk away from those things and those people who do not add to the quality of life. I can sleep at night (well, most nights) because I am past worrying about the small things that do not really matter. I am comfortable in my own skin, and my joy for the most part comes from within. I think when we reach a certain age colors get brighter, smells become sweeter, the touch of a hand or a hug feels warmer and peace and quiet is a good thing.

Beautiful Roses From Geoffrey & Grace

On my birthday, I always find it extremely exciting that the first “Happy Birthday” I hear comes from Geoffrey as he hugs me and I am looking into the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen.  And on that same day, it is Geoffrey who says the last “Happy Birthday” to me just before we go to sleep. At some point in the day, I always have fun telling him I may be another year older, but I will always be the younger woman!

It is only on a birthday you celebrate when you get a call at 7:00 am from your Father, and you know it is all good news, he is just calling to say for the 52nd time “Happy Birthday Baby Girl!”.  I still love being my Dad’s baby girl! This morning my call actually came while I was at the gym! Yes, I worked out on my birthday! And yes, he called back!

And on my birthday the the second call I always get comes from my Mom, and when she says “Happy Birthday” I can hear her smiling, and that makes me very happy. When you know that you are loved by your mother and it is the most unconditional form of love that may exist in the world, you feel very fortunate to celebrate your birthday with her. Today I also got a big bowl of Mom’s banana pudding.  She knows how much I love this and she made it just for my birthday.

The one thing I always think I missed in life was having a really large family. I did not grow up in the same state with cousins or aunts and uncles or grandparents. My own family was small and it wasn’t often, even though we all love one and other, that we spent a lot of quality time together with extended family.

I had sweet messages and phone calls today from Geoffrey’s family for my birthday – let me rephrase that, from my family. Really, for the first time, at the age of 52, I have my bigger family. And what an awesome feeling that is. On birthday’s we get a reminder that this is what is important in life and we cherish each moment enjoying and celebrating the differences and the sameness that each of us has to offer.

Friends - They Make Birthdays So Special

And then there are the friends – those who were like my family when I was growing up and are still my family today. The great thing about friends is that we get to choose them and they choose us. With every birthday and every year that I grow older, I realize that time with friends is so important. Friends feed the soul and spending time together should happen often.

Turning 52 years young today feels ok – it feels right – it feels great! When we launched Parker’s Climb I realized I would be 52 years old when I climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. At this age, I will be in the best physical condition maybe in my life. That says something for turning 52! Woo Hoo! This is going to be a good year!

This is going to be a year filled with learning and teaching others about Parkinson’s disease and what we can do to fight it, fund it and cure it. This is going to be a year that I will learn as much as I can about becoming an advocate for PD with a voice for change to help improve the lives of those living with Parkinson’s disease.

My day was wonderful. Geoffrey got the hint from an earlier post! 🙂 I am now the proud owner of The Beatles – every album ever recorded by the Beatles. We watched the DVD that shows the original recording of each album and hearing select songs magically took me back over a span of more than 40+ years. That kind of makes me sound old! Ha!

The Beatles - I Will Sing Up And Down Mt. Kilimanjaro!!

I have already started to let the Parker family climbers know that this Parker will be singing the Beatles all the way up and all the way down Mt. Kilimanjaro. Not sure how we keep the iPod charged over 9 days but I still have 247 days to figure that one out.

Thank you for all of my wonderful Happy Birthday messages! I love you all!

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