May 30, 2006

Chapter 14

The Breeze likes to rock it
Like a boogie-woogie choo-choo train

The Breeze sent me a letter, from the United Kingdom. Just reading her words made me realize that this site must open its pages to other people who have encountered Parkinson's Disease. And the courage and the beauty of living it as best we can; there is no finer example to the world than The Breeze. Read her words below. Her words are worth 1000 pictures, because she knows exactly what she's talking about, and she has driven away more saber toothed tigers than I can imagine. Pay close attention to her words and picture yourself going through that door, and accepting the universe, and speaking out for life and love and beauty, and other quaint values. Activating a different part of the brain. The part that danced and chanted and the saber tooth tigers turned and fled. They could not fathom the likes of The Breeze. And this is going on around the world. Witness The Breeze.

-- Bob Dawson

Dance and me – A love story lasting a life time.

Hi, my name is The Breeze and I’m 43 years old and have Parkinson ’s disease (shortened to PD because I know it so well!). I live in England.

Music has always been part of my life – not because my family were musical but because of a passion deep inside me. From listening to my 45’s in my bedroom when young, to going to see concerts and bands in local pubs, to having the radio on instead of the television – it’s the rhythm, the lyrics, the beat – just so encompassing.

I am one of those people you see singing in the car, totally unaware of how silly I look! I sing at home – my range of music is very diverse – from country to heavy rock, gentle music to loud, aggressive music, it depends on the mood I’m in.

So, to my PD. I can still walk but some days am extremely slow so much so I just sit in my chair. I still drive, try and go swimming – I think I try and keep active within the confines of PD – terrible muscular ache, stiffness, co-ordination all restrict.

That’s where music comes into play. Whatever my mood, I can find a CD to put on to dance to. LOUD. If I’m angry – on goes my heavy rock and I dance the negativity away, if I’m happy I dance for the sheer joy of it, if I’m feeling sexy ….well you get the picture. I have it playing on the iPod when I’m struggling to walk – I find it gives me a beat to walk to.

I got married in June 2006. Tim, my husband, asked me to marry him in the full knowledge of the PD. A brave man. The one part of the day I insisted upon was a disco for the evening. Some relatives kept saying they thought it was a waste of time but it was what I wanted. I chose 80% of the songs played. Traditionally the first dance should be a slow dance but NO.

Tim and I chose to jive to a song called “My baby loves to rock it” by the Tractors.

I was worried about the whole day and how my PD would play up. However everything went well. But the highlight was the dance. Everyone was clapping and smiling as Tim and I covered the floor. I stayed on the dance floor all night, along with friends and family. PD was well and truly put on the back burner.

I write poetry and this one is about how I feel about music:-


Music gives me a rhythm to which I can sway my hips,
Music gives me a song which can flow from my lips,
Music gives me an avenue by which I can let off steam,
If life was a pint of milk, music would be the cream.

Heavy music for the drum beat, and energy and heat.
Country music for lyrics which make the heart beat,
Rock n'roll music to uplift and for fun,
Middle of the road music, easy listening, background hum.

Cd's, Records, Tapes, TV or radio,
Boy, it's good to let the music grow
And caress your body, to feel the pulse, to feel it surround,
And let your emotions out and spirit abound.

©The Breeze 2007

Lastly, but by no means least –my mum is in a nursing home. She has Alzheimer’s. Whenever I go and visit – not as often as I would like as I live a long way from her – my main aim is to make her laugh and smile. In summer I take her out into the garden and play her music and I dance. She claps and joins in. People look at us as if we are mad but I don’t care. Last summer there was me, my sister and niece all dancing to Queen out in the garden!! She can still sing but the words are sometimes lost. Music comforts her as well. My mum doesn’t know I have PD – she wouldn’t understand, she doesn’t even know my name now but knows I am her crazy daughter.

Music, dancing, singing, humming are an integral part of my makeup and I truly believe that PD will do its best to take away my ability to walk, to talk properly, to live a “normal” life but IT WILL NOT take away my dancing shoes – music is entwined with my positive attitude to life and provides a shield from all the adversity that comes with it.

Harvest Moon

She pushed the letters E1 on the old juke box. Harvest Moon by Neil Young. The song started, slow and sweet. "Come alittle closer, Hear what I have to say, Just like children sleepin, We can dream the night away!.

Maggie danced, with tears in her eyes as she heard the words for the first time, after many years. She danced to the fire light. She danced to honour the loons and the lake waters, the way the Indians had danced on those same shores, around fire made from lightning and pine. She danced to honour the dead. She danced for the living.

"But there’s a full moon rising, Lets go dancing in the light, We know where the music's playing, Lets go out and feel the night, because I’m still in love with you, I want to see you dance again, Because I’m still in love with you, On this harvest moon.

An extract from a book called "Dancing at the Harvest Moon" by K C McKinnon. A book about a woman in her forties who gets a second chance at life and romance when she returns to the beautiful lakeside town where she met her first love.

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