In10City - Judy Good Hensley
I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful woman and spending three days with her and her beautiful family. My son David and I flew to Tennessee to meet Judy Good Hensley. She has Young Onset Parkinson's Disease. She also has the infamous "Da' Coat". When we arrived in the airport she called me and said she was in the observatory deck. My son and I exited our plane and looked up at the deck and low and behold there was Judy waving to us. David at first didn’t see her until I said look for the coat. Oh yeah! When we strolled into the baggage, Judy jumped out literally to greet us and snap our picture. I like this girl. This would be the first of hundreds of pictures the two of us would take. I want to jump ahead here to Sunday night. Judy and I sat for many hours late Sunday sharing, reading each others stories, crying, learning about one another. Being with her for three days I observed this remarkable lady. Moving through her day with Parkinson’s. Never afraid to do anything. Plowing through it all. All the while doting on me and David. She always made us feel at home with her husband and daughter. Planning our days, getting us there. I was exhausted at the end of each day. But the one thing that stands out in my mind is the love she has for everyone and everything. Right down to the tiniest butterfly she tried to capture through the lens of her camera. Her beauty for life pours over into her beautiful daughter Carol, who at only sixteen years old, is well beyond her years. Her husband Bill with his loving support and endless stories that I enjoyed immensely of his faith, his beliefs, his cross country biking. What a wonderful package these three are. They each are the glue that holds each other together.
Judy shared her disease with me. From the day she was diagnosed to the progression, the medications, explaining the medications, the procedures, the adjustments, dyskenisia, tremors. Her faith, her taking care and worrying about her mother. Her darker moments but then her moments of awakening because of the strength she has. How can you not be inspired? She wanted to know about me, my reasons for joining the Regulars, my mom, my boys, karate, my writing. I shared with her the chapter about my mom. She cried. This by far is the chapter in my life that defines me. She learned a lot about me and who I am today based on this. She understood the meaning of my nickname “Strong Feather”.
Intensity: Extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling.
Judy Hensley should be under this word.
In10City: Her “E” name as the newest member of The Regulars.
It fit’s the woman who leads by example, who pushes up mountains of challenges, who never stops believing in herself and most importantly others. She is truly an inspiration on so many levels. To have been given the opportunity to meet her and speak at one of her support meetings is something I will never forget. I met wonderful people who are part of her life on this trip. A special thanks to Mayor Jane Myron and to Peggy Willocks for the kind words they spoke about me at the meeting. For allowing me to speak and to say they are the ones who inspire and I am the one who wants all of there hopes and dreams of finding a cure to come true. It was very a very surreal moment to be the one honored. I applaud everyone who deals with Parkinson’s Disease on an hour by hour basis. Who pushes others to become involved. Who creates foundations, websites for support, teams, fundraisers. I bring home with me a better understanding, a profound drive to support more and to draw more awareness. And of course a new friend, Judy Good Hensley. We stand “Together as ONE”. Oh yeah! I now have “Da Coat” and to the roof of Africa it’s going……..
Strong Feather Eileen
Thursday, June 11, 2009
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