crying eye

My brother and his wife live on a small farm in east Texas, surrounded by farms of all types and sizes. My brother and his wife don’t farm the land, he has operated an appliance repair business from his property for years, which serves the local landowners. He and his wife have worked hard, raised their kids, and helped raise other peoples kids in the local church. Nobody loves their family more. They are the epitome of the all American Family. Their kids are all raised now, and raising families of their own. It’s that time we all look forward to in our lives when we can relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

It didn’t quite work out that way. About a year ago, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinsons. That was a shocker, she has always been a healthy, active, hard working woman. Needless to say, we were stunned when we received the news. She has been doing well with medication, and living an almost normal life. She has a marvelous attitude. I’m not sure I could deal with it so well.

I’m older than my brother, so in our conversations, he is always curious about my health. I’m sure he sees  me as sort of a window into his future, we are undeniably very much alike except for our ages, and have suffered many similar maladies. In one of our conversations about a month ago, I asked how he was doing. He related to me that he was experiencing tremors on his left side, and was suffering some cognitive issues. Yesterday, he called and said he had been diagnosed with Parkinsons.

I was in total disbelief. My mind started going into overdrive, how can this possibly happen? Both of them? I couldn’t quit thinking about this horrible news. Later yesterday, it hit me. Farm country, rampant usage of  herbicides and pesticides has to be the answer. They have been residents there for over thirty years. That’s a long time to be exposed to these dangerous chemicals. I couldn’t wait to call him this morning and share my thoughts. I didn’t expect his response. He told me his specialist told them the same thing. Their Parkinson’s specialist went on to say, that part of Texas is a hot bed for Parkinson’s disease.

Immediately, your mind starts trying to grasp the enormity of this. How many more of these great Americans are going to fall victim to this? Is anyone going to address it? Is it even on anyone’s radar? How many young kids are going to fall victim of these chemicals and have their lives cut short? It’s making my head crazy, thinking about this.

This is not like the asbestos problem. That was easy to track down the source for that exposure. You could never track down the source for the exposure to these chemicals, everyone is using this stuff. The only hope is to try to figure out where the lion share of this stuff is coming from, such as farm supplies, and get this stuff off the market before thousands more become victims.

I have never thought chemical companies were honest in their safety statements. Quite honestly, if they told you how dangerous this stuff really is, they couldn’t sell it. Anything that attacks the nervous system of a bug, can’t be good for you. Likewise chemicals that kill plants, can’t be good for you either. Think “Agent Orange”.  When you spray a hornets nest and those things fall on the ground instantly dead, that’s scary stuff to me.

I’m not sure our regulatory people are paying enough attention to this stuff. I know I’m going to be looking at this a little harder in the future.





  1. So sorry to hear about your brother and his wife. It is an unknown cause for sure. I had a cousin come down with it in his 40s but lived to 80. We have a friend who got it at 70 and he was so healthy prior-no drinking, no coffee,no smoking, no red meat. Almost too healthy–then Parkinsons. It’s a mystery. Best wishes to your family.


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