Nancy Mazonson, director of the JF&CS Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support program, retired on Sept. 28, 2018.
During her last few weeks at JF&CS, she spoke about the incredible privilege she had in meeting so many wonderful individuals and families with whom she shared such powerful experiences.
At a celebration of Nancy’s work at JF&CS, program participant Marilyn Neault shared this poem, which she wrote for the occasion as an expression of gratitude.
You rub clear the fogged glass that daunts my gaze.
You meet us as baffled elders in the mirror,
Skewed shadows of the elders we thought we’d see.
How is it that you also see the “who” we used to be?
You spark one soul, then another, into motion,
one whose arm forgets to swing,
one whose leg drags heavily,
one whose limb taps time to a frail future.
You share my wonder for those who slow their stride
to raise me up so that I may come along.
You feel the gravity of my gratitude
to my family, to my friends, and to my heroes in crisp white
who trick stalled motors with tiny pills.
Now feel the levity of our gratitude
to you our givers, to our helpers
whose warm eyes heal our bruised steps,
and who give us again, then again, our greatest gift,
tagged with a permit for joy,
wrapped in song or dance, ribbons of rhyme
tied slowly with kind words or shared silence,
the gift of each other, together.
To learn more about our resources for people living with Parkinson’s disease, visit our Charlotte & Richard Okonow Parkinson’s Family Support program page.
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