It’s not often that I don’t have any words to express how I am feeling. I have lost a close friend. Her name was Sharon. I called her Shar-Bear. She called me Amazing Allison, but truthfully, she was the amazing one. I met her at the Parkinson’s Long Beach Marathon over 10 years ago. She and her husband, also known as Jer-Bear, were walking with my family. We hit it off immediately and even went out to dinner after the marathon.
The First Parkie I Ever Met
Shar-Bear was the first Parkie I had ever met after getting diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I learned so much from her about giving to others, getting involved in the community, and even attending my PD fitness classes with her husband when I first started teaching. I remember her saying to me, with tears in her eyes, that she felt guilty that she had a relatively stable version of Parkinson’s while she saw someone like me, so young, getting diagnosed. That’s only one example of why she was amazing. She felt guilty and was concerned that I had PD, yet, she had the same diagnosis.
Shar-Bear was always available if I needed her. I was a guest speaker in Las Vegas, and guess who flew in to be a smiling face in the audience? When I was a blogger, speaker, and ambassador for the World Parkinson’s Congress in Portland, you guessed it. She made sure I had enough sweets to get through my long days at the conference… a true friend.
Shar-Bear was a faithful member of my wolfpack and was always checking in on me when I had medical setbacks. She would actually get mad at me when I didn’t call her when I had unexpected hospital visits. I learned right quick to make sure my Mom and Dad kept her and Jer-Bear up to speed with my health challenges. Shar-bear passed away last week and although she didn’t die from Parkinson’s disease, she died with it.
I hurts to lose such a huge part of my Wolfpack, I just hope that I have lived up to my name Amazing Allison. She was a true friend and you only get a few of those in a lifetime, if you’re lucky. If you are blessed to have someone special in your life like Shar-Bear, cherish those memories, because you never know when they might be the last. Rest in peace, my friend… you’ve earned it.
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