Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wedding - A Walk, A Dance, and Parkinson’s

Seven years ago I had to think very hard about an uncertain future, the possibilities of what I would be able to physically do and what I might not able to do. “You have Parkinson’s Mr. Younts.”  I heard those words as well as words that could have been easily replaced with others. My neurologist could have said, “I am sorry Mr. Younts, but I don’t know if you will be able to walk your daughter down the aisle the day of her wedding day.  Oh….also, you won’t be able to dance the father and daughter dance.” That is what Parkinson’s is, the “I don’t know what your future is and what precious moments it could steal from you” kind of disease.

My day came, as it does in many fathers’ lives when they walk their daughters down the aisle and give her to the man of her dreams. I had the honor and privilege to walk my baby girl down the aisle with something close to my heart that I had in my jacket pocket.  She was stunning and I was proud that my little girl grew up to be the beautiful young woman she is. Holding my arm and walking slowly down the path of paved stones together, tears began to flow as she saw her Prince Charming and his joyful tears ran down his face as his princess approached. I stood there proudly with a smile on my face. “Who gives this woman away?”  “Her mother and I.” I lifted her veil and gave my little girl a kiss, and then turned to my new son-in-law, shook his hand, and hugged him. I sat with my beautiful wife, held her hand, and thanked God that I had this moment.

The reception followed. My speech welcoming our guests and congratulating the newlyweds was a challenge thanks to an off moment with my medication. I told my wife I needed to stall. She said, “You can do this. I will stand there with you.” That’s what my wife does in all things  --  she stands with me. I roughed through it, but I did it.

Time for the father and daughter dance came. Marissa told me it would be special. I wish there were a word that could describe how truly special it really was to me.  The ukulele began to play and the beautiful voice of the young woman began to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.  “ I heard you singing that one time when I was home Daddy.” I do sing that song as many people facing adversity do -- an anthem of hope. What a wonderful thing for a daughter to do for her father!  

My dream did come true. The one thing Parkinson’s can’t take away is my family and the love we have for each other. 

I am Pat Younts and I Move to Live.          


  1. You are indeed Superman, and Parkinson Disease your kriptonite.But we all know Superman always rises up again and you my friend will do the same. You have something far greater than Superman's fortress of solitude, you have the fortess of solidarity and love built by family and friends. Many more memories and years ahead, with Grandpa teaching a new generation about love,family, and honor. And it will be my honor to watch you succeed at beating your kriptonite, and living a beautiful and long life.Love you brother.

  2. such an awesome story my prayers are with them all


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