In Two Places At Once
Michelle Parker is a filmmaker and one of the top free skiers in the world, and her life changed with her father’s neuro-degenerative diagnosis. But caretaking while Tahoe powder accumulates outside is not a sacrifice.
“If I’m with my dad for the day, caregiving and playing, it’s become so deeply special that when I am not with him and I have time to pursue time outside, those experiences have been enhanced.”
Her father has Lewy Body Dementia on top of an existing Parkinson’s diagnosis, and Michelle splits caretaking time with her family—time that includes Pickleball and epic outdoor experiences her dad still very much enjoys.
Balancing skiing and filmmaking with caretaking has “turned out to be this beautiful dance”
Her father has also been instrumental in her success from the time she could barely ski (or walk), through a steady current of love and support. And now it’s her time to reciprocate the love and dedication he’s always happily given.
It’s all a priority shift for Michelle the filmmaker. It’s an undeniable new life phase that she says is intertwined with grief but held aloft by “so much light and beauty as well.”
“We live in Lake Tahoe and our day usually consists of some solid time spent outside, but I’d also really like to take him on a camping trip soon in my van.”
She doesn’t long for different days, she pays attention to these days, and the hours and minutes and moments they offer:
It’s about time for them to start planning their father-daughter trip. Somewhere her van can go, somewhere to immerse themselves in the outdoors, “nothing big, nothing daunting, but a soulful trip for the two of us.”