Michael J. Fox is usually put into two very different categories. The first being an accomplished and wonderful actor who can, in all seriousness, do no wrong. The second being, that guy with Parkinson’s.
I admit, I myself used to use these two categories to describe him as well. That was until I began to read his memoir, Lucky Man. I may only be a few chapters into the book so far, but I already feel inspired by it. I feel as though it’s a type of book that will, in a very small but real way, change me. I don’t know just how yet, but the fact that I can already feel it, is proof enough that it’ll happen.
One of the things that really got to me in his book, was his relationship with his wife. Everyone says she’s such a saint and such an amazing person for staying with Mikey. (Oh yea, I’m on a first name basis with him now, by the way). And to an extent, I absolutely couldn’t agree more. I do think she’s a great person. I do think she’s brave and strong. But to say she’s a saint because she’s stayed with him through his disease, is something I don’t agree with. She’s with him still because she loves him. Because he’s her everything. Because without him, the light and happiness in her eyes would fade as quick as it came the day she met him. That’s what I believe, anyways. I know I don’t know these people, but I feel like I could know them. You know?
The very first paragraph of the book was truly an eye opener. It read:
“I woke up to find the message in my left hand. It had me trembling. It wasn’t a fax, telegram, memo, or the usual sort of missive bringing disturbing news. In fact, my hand held nothing at all. The trembling was the message.“
So often we go through life and worry about the small stuff. We never think about the bigger things that could possibly be right around the corner, because we choose not to. We choose to keep ourselves in the dark. That’s no way to live a life. If reading this book has taught me anything, it’s never think “it won’t happen to me”. Because when anything does happen, we simply aren’t prepared. Michael J. Fox was just 29 years old when he was diagnosed with shaking palsy (another term for Parkinson’s), and in his book he describes how very unprepared he was for those words. He turned everything around though and has raised so much money through his charity The Michael J. Fox Foundation. He really is a truly inspiring man and I think I’ll always have a bit of a crush on the guy. He is, after all, Marty McFly.
I hope we can all be eternal optimists through the rough times, but at the same time, we shouldn’t feel guilty if we can’t. The toughest rock can only take so many hits before it eventually cracks. If you’re going through a rough time, just remember that cracks can be fixed. Some are just deeper and take more time to heal.
If this book has taught me anything so far, it’s been to keep optimistic but also aware.
Peace & love,