From Our President

MAY 2020

We hope that all of you are still managing to enjoy your family, friends, and caregivers while sheltering in place.  Whether it’s by way of the various social media platforms, the phone, or even writing a note or sending a letter, we trust you’re staying connected.

Let’s not forget the numerous benefits of maintaining a daily schedule of exercise, basically being as active as you can be.  If you’re able, go outside where you’ll be met by some of the most beautiful spring weather in Texas, with a giant blue sky stretching out for miles and miles.  You’ll discover an abundance of nourishing sunlight, a natural multivitamin.

This is the same sunlight that through photosynthesis produces a plethora of green everywhere we look.  Gentle to moderate to strong breezes tickle our faces.  Don’t forget, this is Texas!  If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute, it will change.  We believe that by encouraging someone, exercising, and soaking up some of this gorgeous weather, you’ll be shining like the sun in no time.

We expect conditions to change by June 11th, allowing us to gather in celebration of yet another successful fiscal year for HOTPACS and its growing membership.  If we make it out of this current quarantine in time, a Pot-Luck lunch is planned for one and all.  Then after the festivities we’ll turn our attention forward and focus on the new fiscal year of HOTPACS meetings.  There are new people to meet, new friends to make, new strategies to learn, new exercises to practice, and just the right combination to produce greater measures of good health and well being for us all.

Thank you volunteers for another exceptionally good year of service.  Please keep up all the good work.  You are truly a blessing to us all.

We believe in living life to the fullest, celebrating together, laughing often, and loving always. We believe we are brought together to care for each other. We believe in each other in this support group. –Mike & Debe

APRIL 2020

Hello HOTPACS family and friends, welcome to April.  This month gets its name from the Latin word aperio, meaning “to open [bud],” because flowers and plants now begin to grow.  We trust each and everyone is eager to watch nature show out and beautifully begin to bloom.

April has been designated as Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Easter is celebrated Sunday the 12th.  April’s full “Pink Moon” will occur in the evening April 7th.  This full Moon, which is the first full Moon of the spring season, is the biggest & brightest Supermoon of the year.

In response to the uncertainty that Coronavirus [COVID-19] has brought on us we continue social distancing and don’t know how long our meetings and events will be postponed.  Although it’s all a bit overwhelming we simply must try not to lose our momentum established through attending exercise classes.  It’s a good idea for us all to establish and maintain an exercise program at home doing what we can and doing it regularly because it really can make a difference in our health and well being.

 Another good idea is for us to surround one another with encouragement and stay in touch.  Together we’re going to get through this, remember we have hope and a future.  There are good things and good days ahead for our group, we want you to be a part of it all.  We sure miss you!  The group isn’t the same without you. You make it better.

Thank you volunteers, we could not do any of it without you!

We believe in living life to the fullest, celebrating together, laughing often and loving always.  We believe we were brought together to care for each other. We believe in each other in this support group. –Mike & Debe

MARCH 2020

Hello everyone.  March is here, the month that designates the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring.  HOTPACS continues to grow and our new location will easily accommodate doubling our group’s number.  We are now able to help more people than ever before.  Most Clinical Researchers, Doctors, and Physical Therapists agree that a continuing fixed program of exercise and social interaction slows the progression of Parkinson’s.  No matter when we were diagnosed, we still benefit physically and emotionally by consistently participating in exercise classes.

We can also help get the word out to those who need us and yet do not know a group like ours exists.  Please ask our secretary Caren to provide you with brochures that you can give to your doctors, therapists and anyone you believe may benefit by coming to our classes.  Our good friends at the Plummer Movement Disorders Center in Temple have graciously offered to print brochures for us.  When you get the chance, please remember to thank them.

March ushers in the season for celebrating things made new, beginning with the grass turning from dormant yellow to vibrant green; bare trees waking up from their winter’s deep sleep and quietly beginning to reach for the sky while sprouting their new covering of leaves; beautiful multi-colored flowers beginning to push their way to the soil’s surface for our viewing pleasure; and birds serenade us as they sing their many different songs.  Let’s emerge from our winter hibernation and breathe in the renewal that Spring brings.  One of the most effective ways to do this is engaging in social gatherings and enjoyable activities–just what HOTPACS meetings are all about.

We believe in living life to the fullest, celebrating together, laughing often, and loving always.  We believe we are brought together to care for each other.  We believe in each other in this support group.  –Mike & Debe

FEBRUARY 2020

The Heart of Texas Parkinson’s and Caregivers Support Group [HOTPACS] welcomes you, your family, and caregivers to join us during the month of February for exercise, guest speakers, discussion groups, and much more. These are all designed to reduce stress and improve quality of life.  And our new location is just what the doctor ordered.  We now have room to assist more people in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease.  Invite someone to join us.

It’s a leap year, so let’s plan to celebrate all that this longer-than-usual February has to offer!  The 2nd is Groundhog Day.  Punxsutawney Phil reveals the secret of whether winter will last six weeks longer or if it’s going to be called off early.  The 15th is Susan B. Anthony’s birthday.  The 17th brings us President’s Day and sales at every store.  The 25th is Mardi Gras also known as “Fat Tuesday.”  February is African-American History Month.  Are you ready for some football and seven layer cheese dip? The Super Bowl plays out on the 2nd.  Perhaps the most fun-filled holiday in February is Valentine’s Day, occurring on the 14th.  During this holiday we lavish upon our sweethearts our love, chocolate, and flowers.  Whether our sweetheart is with us or not, we have family, neighbors, and friends to show our appreciation and affection.  Remember we love because HE first loved us.

Speaking of touching our hearts, we are filled with appreciation for our volunteers who help make every HOTPACS meetings so successful.

We believe in living life to the fullest, celebrating together, laughing often, and loving always.  We believe we are brought together to care for each other.  We believe in each other in this support group.  –Mike & Debe

JANUARY 2020

The Heart of Texas Parkinson’s and Caregivers Support Group hopes you, your family, and caregivers had a very Merry Christmas, and we wish you a blessed and Happy New Year!

We were delighted that our good friends at First United Methodist Church hosted our HOTPACS annual Christmas Lunch.  They did an exceptionally good job and we thank them!  We were intrigued by the stories we heard from Vivian Rutherford, of  the Public Library and Story-telling Guild; and we were fully entertained with the sing-along and music provided by Gary Stokes who did an outstanding job, singing and playing the guitar.  Thank you Gary, and thank you Kirk for sharing your husband with us!  We also wish to thank Christy Herff and all the good people at the Plummer Movement Disorder Center for their continued support.

By now you’ve probably heard that starting January 7th we’ll be meeting at a new location. The Holy Spirit Episcopal Church has graciously agreed to provide HOTPACS with a new home where we can grow our group.  On January 9th, please be sure to attend “Get Ready…Planning Ahead,” a program designed to help us plan and prepare ourselves, families, and homes for maximum fulfillment, presented by Christi McGowan.

Volunteers, you make HOTPACS fun and enjoyable for everyone, meeting after meeting.  You do an excellent job.  Thank You!  We continue to meet each Tuesday and Thursday to join in exercise, to hear from guest speakers, and to share helpful information with one another when we split into our two discussion groups.  Our next discussion group meeting is scheduled for January 23rd, and it won’t be the same without you,\; so please plan to attend.

We believe in living life to the fullest, celebrating together, laughing of ten, and loving always.  We believe we were brought together to care for each other. This support group believes in one other.  Hope to see you soon!  –Mike & Debe