The Bees in My Bonnet is the second story in the ” I’m Still Me” series.
This is a story about a journey of ups and downs, fears and a few tears, energy and lethargic, dreaming and wondering why, prayers and waiting, leading to the realization that the path I am on is the one that I am suppose to be on.
My name is Cynthia Jean DeLuca. I am an author, writer, and speaker. I was recently diagnosed with a slow progressive degenerative brain disorder. Long story short, I have Parkinson’s. The doctor believes that I may have had this brain disorder for about five years before the effects started to become more pronounced.
I need to be up front and say, that I am not writing these short stories looking for sympathy or pity. On the contrary, I am writing them in the hopes of helping others who may be experiencing symptoms or who might have been diagnosed. And I am writing them to help myself learn how to navigate in this bustling bee hive of feelings.
Some days I feel like me; energic and ready to take on anything that comes my way. I sway to the music floating from my Pandora as I try to catch up on what my lethargic body could not do the day before. Other than shaky hands, the bees in my bonnet are quiet for today.
Some days from the time I get up in the morning until bedtime and beyond, the bees are busy. Sometimes busier than I can handle. My balance is off, forcing me to catch myself. If I venture out on my much- loved strolls, my cane accompanies me. My handwriting which I always took such pride becomes jagged and I hardly recognize the words. I become quiet on those busy bee days when it feels as if they’re flying around stinging every nerve in my brain. Even my memory is not left in peace. I like to think of the bees as playing tricks like a magician. Whenever I make mistakes, forget something I should know, or have a difficult time forming my thoughts, my go to phrase is, “ Oh, my memory is playing tricks on me again!” That phrase helps my heart to deal with the hurt I feel.
But then a few really good days in a row when I don’t need my cane, I can dance, sing, remember, write, clean my house, cook, fix my hair, put some make-up on and feel like a breath of fresh air. The bees in my bonnet are quiet.
Then without warning, they are swarming and stinging, and I know that a repeat performance of those off days is a head of me. But I am ready. I am learning to be good to myself on those days. I rest, pray, and watch the beautiful birds that sit on the bare branches of my dogwood tree. I think about my many blessings, and how much my family and friends mean to me. Even though there is not a cure for my degenerative brain disorder, it is not a death sentence. Although I have challenges, I will continue to enjoy each day that I have and love like there is no tomorrow.
So to the bees who live in my bonnet. You might sting my nerve endings, but each time you swarm, my strength gets stronger. I will not give up on what I love to do. And that is just about everything. I will not give up on me – not even for one day.
So whether the days are super terrific or difficult, I will keep reminding myself that I am not defined by my illness. And neither are you. I have so much to offer and so do you. I am intelligent, worthy and have a beautiful heart. And so do you.
Remember, I am still me, and you are still you!