I am still me

cropped-wal-1.jpgI am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
“I am”… I cried
“I am”… said I
And I am lost and I can’t
Even say why
“I am”… I said
“I am”… I cried
“I am”

“I Am… I Said” as written by Neil Diamond © Universal Music Publishing Group


I told my friend Nan Little that I am a very different person than I used to be. She responded “No, you are the same you. You are just more you“. I disagreed. “I really believe  I am changed.”

While we were camping last week, I spent some time listening to old Neil Diamond songs. This  CD was full of  sad, sappy love songs. The lyrics above stuck in my head for days after I heard it. “I am”… I said “I am”… I cried “I am”….   me!  I don’t feel lost, but I do feel as if no one is listening.

As I let these lyrics roll around in my brain I realized I no longer disagree with Nan’s response. I become more “ me” each day. As my skin is weathered and my hair shows silver strands, I put aside the beliefs about myself that took me nowhere. And let myself  open up to the beliefs that brought me to who “I am”  today.  All those beliefs, those  thoughts, I didn’t change. Rather I acted differently for some of the “me” than some other of the “me.”

I am who I am supposed to be. I am where I am supposed to be. Not just in this moment of time but forever.

No. I am not changed. I am enough. I am more than enough.  I accept what has been given to me and give back as I can.  Even this disease is a gift. I give from the wealth of Parkinson’s, not passing on the disease….heavens no ! But sharing  the lessons I have learned. Are you listening?

” give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down. Shaken together running over,  they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it shall be measured to you” Luke 6:38

What you give will be returned to you a hundred fold.


Neil was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 2017, I believe.  As with most public figures he kept it quiet for awhile.

Published by Carol Clupny, author The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman's Remarkable Journey with Parkinson's Disease

I am a middle aged woman with Parkinson's Disease. When I was first diagnosed I spent a lot of time researching the disease. Seeing a video of a man in the advanced stages of the disease attempting to get out of his chair and then "freezing" as he tried to walk across the room got me off my butt and moving. Great adventures on the Camino de Santiago and with TEAM Pedaling for Parkinson's across IOWA, as well as the day to day adventures of life have lead me to writing. My first novel, a memoir, was published early 2019. It is called, you got it THE RIBBON OF ROAD AHEAD. Living with the degenerative neurological disease Parkinson's, ULTREIA is a word that guides me. I have chosen it as the name of my business ULTREIA BOOKS. It comes from Latin and old French and means "unfailing courage". In the old days, pilgrims would call "Ultreïa" to each other as encouragement "Go up, go further!" Nowadays we would say "You can do this thing". It takes courage to live with Parkinson's. May I face each day with unfailing courage. Ab Here is more about me; I was living an active lifestyle riding horses, hiking, climbing and snow skiing when at age fifty I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. Retiring from my career as a speech-language pathologist I decided to “take to the road” to battle the disease. My first steps, walking out her door to the mailbox, lead to trekking over 1000 miles of pilgrimage trails on the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain. A dusty bike discovered in the garage resulted in four rides on the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa with the Pedaling for Parkinsons Team. These adventures inspired me to write a memoir The Ribbon of Road Ahead: One Woman’s Remarkable Journey with Parkinson’s Disease. I blogs about my everyday life as a middle-aged woman in the mid-stages of Parkinson’s disease. My honest, humorous, and casual narrative style brings the reader to an intimate understanding of my resilience and acceptance. My blog, sharing the name of my book ”The Ribbon of Road Ahead” can be found at www.ultreiablog.org After completing a Masters of Science in Speech Pathology from Eastern Washington University I received certification in School Leadership and Administration from Lewis and Clark College. I provided speech pathology services and later became a program director completing 32 years in the wide geographic expanse of eastern Oregon. Active in the Oregon Speech-Language and Hearing Association I received honors of the association and the presidential award for work on recruitment and retention of speech and hearing professionals. Il presented numerous papers and projects at local, state and regional professional conferences. I was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to two terms of the Oregon Board of Examiners of Speech Pathology and Audiology, the state’s licensing and consumer protection agency. Since my diagnosis in 2008, I has become active in the Parkinson’s community as an advocate, an Ambassador for the Davis Phinney Foundation and support group facilitator for Parkinson's Resources of Oregon. I was appointed the regional patient representative for the Parkinson's Foundation’s Women with PD TALK study. In September of 2019 the Michael J Fox Foundation selected me to participate in the Parkinson’s Policy Forum in Washington DC. As an attendee at the World Parkinson Congress in 2016 in Portand, Oregon, I presnted a poster session examining the decision making process for patients considering deep brain stimulation. At the 2019 WPC in Kyoto, Japan I presented a poster on vision concerns of women with PD and lead small group discussions. Myr book The Ribbon of Road Ahead has provided many speaking opportunities for Carol. In 2019 and early 2020 she visited 24 support groups in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California to share her thoughts on living well with the disease. In addition, she has presented talks for The Center on Aging in San Francisco, Parkinson's Place in Las Vegas, Northwest Parkinson's Foundation in Richland WA and virtually through their HOPE online program. In late 2020 I rejuvenated her voice and narrated her book. It became available as an audio book in 2021. As part of this project I read stories over the airwaves on RadioParkies Australia with DJ Madonna and in Great Britain with DJ Johnny Parky. She and her husband Charlie have two adult sons. They live on a small hobby farm in eastern Oregon. Contact Information: Carol Clupny PO BOX 128, Hermiston, OR 97838 caclupny@gmail.com (541) 720-4256

One thought on “I am still me

  1. I have always thought you were exceptional and wonderful! I have loved your organizational skills, and understood your ability to listen to all and discern the truth. We all have highs and lows in life. A few of us get to see the beacon light that lights up for others..that is you !!

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