Jake, 44

Meet Jake…

…Two of my favorite quotes are by John Lennon, in a song called “Beautiful Boy” he wrote for his son. He said “Life is just what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Incarcerated: 13 years
Housed: Bill Clements Unit, Amarillo, Texas

Two of my favorite quotes are by John Lennon, in a song called “Beautiful Boy” he wrote for his son. He said “Life is just what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. This always stuck with me. But it wasn’t until about eight years ago that it truly hit me. I was having a problem with my thumb twitching all the time. So I went to the doctor. Six weeks later I was told I have Parkinson’s Disease.

All of a sudden all the plans I was making didn’t seem so important. I soon realized what Lennon was saying. So much time, so much I could have done then now was pushed aside. I’d like to say all at once my life got better, that I started living for each day. But then I would be lying. Instead I got depressed. I shut down from everyone and everything. I used to be a firefighter and now it seemed not my future was gone. I wasted my “yesterdays” by making plans and not living my life. The worst of my depression lasted all that year.

I still fight it but not nearly as bad. Which leads me to my second favorite quote. The one that got me going again. It is by J.K Rowling. She wrote the wonderful Harry Potter books. Of her many quotes the one that helped me most was, “Rock bottom became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life!” How wonderful is that? Reading her quote made me see my life wasn’t over. My life is not bad living with Parkinson’s. So I started rebuilding. I do it one day at a time. Sure I still make small plans for tomorrow. Because what John Lennon said is true. You still have to live tomorrow, but today comes first. This is a big part of my life. It’s one of the reasons I am who I am today. It’s the main reason I’m back on the road to happiness.

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