Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Father's Bucket List

My Father's Bucket List

By Kimberly Jensen

"Mom! Dad! We are here!" I yelled as I opened the front door to their house. My mom was in the kitchen fussing over what she was going to feed me and my three kids. I don't know what it is about moms but they always seem to want to feed you, no matter what time of the day and whether or not you had just eaten a large meal. There is something innate about mothers wanting to feed their young. "Where's dad?" I asked as I looked over to the blue recliner where he is usually perched. Just then my dad came around the corner, carrying a catalog and a legal pad of paper. He sat at the table and began writing. "Hey dad, what's up?" I asked as I sat down beside him and tried to read his scribbles. Even before my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's I couldn't read his handwriting but I could still decipher the "E" that started his name. I picked up the catalog he was reading and found registration forms for about 12 community education classes. "I'm signing up for some classes; Photography, Real Estate Investing, Lewis and Clark History, Cycling..." he said. "I'm adding to my Bucket List." Ever since seeing the movie "The Bucket List" my dad has been inspired. At age 73, he has made a list of at least ten things he wants to accomplish before 'kicking the bucket." So far to date, he has listed: 1)Jump out of an airplane 2) Read the Book of Mormon in a month 3) Exercise Every day 4) Get back his driver's license 5) Study for at least one hour everyday. Now he's signed up for community classes. Because of his Parkinson's, there are times when my father is so stiff he cannot move or speak and is so short of breath it comes out in gasps. He inspires others as he lives his life not by the amount of breathes he takes, but the moments that take his breath away. What's your bucket list?


Christine Thackeray said...

My hope before I kick the bucket is to get to the bottom of my laundry pile. Yesterday I was only two blankets away but today I'm four loads off- what is up with that?

Tamster said...

I feel your pain, Christine!

Bucket list--interesting concept. I'll have to look into that movie; I hadn't heard of it. So has your dad jumped out of an airplane? And is he really going to take a cycling class even with Parkinson's? If so and if he can do it, good for him; that's fabulous! My dad could only dream of doing that kind of thing again (of course, on top of his Parkinson's, he's basically a quadriplegic, although he sometimes thinks he can do more than he really can). I don't think I'd dare make a bucket list for myself; it would be too discouraging. :-)

Anonymous said...

My Mom was mostly disabled by a car accidnet 5 years before she died. I inherited a small notebook she kept at her bedside to jot down her thoughts. One she left behind was -- "How do you know if you mission in life is over? If you are still breathing, it isn't."

I'm cheering for your Dad!