We met a legend today (June 24th). Alf Todd is a man who clearly understands how to put Parkinson’s in context and to get on with living.
When I asked him about the secrets to coping, he rattled them off quickly, like he was listing his children’s names: complaining is wasteful and isolating, draw strength from a community, laugh, and when you feel self pity, think of those who maintain a smile while dealing with so much more.
My first glimpse of Alf was an older man, slightly stooped and curved, carrying a cane while he walked in a side-to-side skating pattern to avoid freezing.
And then Alf got on his bike, and the most delightful thing happened: as he thundered away on his peddles, standing up and rocking the bike back and forth for more power, gliding balletically between obstructions, crashing through gates and street crossings, Alf was 16 again. I mean it, 16. Not just younger or stronger, he is a playful and confident rider mid-teen athlete.
We spent the afternoon with Alf, riding a favourite route, reading some of his poetry and writings, and hearing stories from his youth, and learning about his wife of 50 years exactly.
Happy Anniversary Alf