Tracy: Mister Mayor.
Michael: And yet every day she shows me she's a person with an incredible sense of dignity and responsibility.
Oprah: Where did that come from, Tracy?
Tracy: I don't know—that's not how I see myself.
Michael: But it's true.
Oprah: Tracy, when you hear him say those things, doesn't part of you resonate with that?
Tracy: I'm very grounded—that's how I would put it. If you met my mother, you'd probably say the same thing about her. I had a very sane upbringing, though some very insane things happened.
Oprah: Is your marriage still in the state it was in during 1994?
Tracy: Yes. And as our marriage grows and changes, we have to explain so little to each other.
Michael: That's the key.
Tracy: It took a long time to get to this place—there's an understanding between us.
Michael: And a trust.
Tracy: One of us can be in a horrible mood and say the worst things to the other one. Right after I'd had the baby, I was getting dressed and nothing fit. Michael came in to ask me a question, and I just turned around and said, "What do you want? Get out of my closet! You shouldn't even be in this room!" He was like, "Okay, honey, I'll see you later." The fact that I can have an outburst like that and not have to say "I've just had a baby and my thighs are a little big" is so important. He totally understands. The same is true the other way around.
Oprah: Would you say Parkinson's has been a gift in your marriage?
Michael: I've often referred to Parkinson's as the gift that keeps on taking. It's a gift in that it really gave me a whole different appreciation for life. I discovered that I wasn't me minus Parkinson's. I was me plus it. I have been enriched by what it has opened up for me. It hasn't allowed me to take anything for granted.
Oprah: I love the beautiful quote I saw about your book....
Michael: Yes—"I couldn't be still until I couldn't be still." I couldn't trust that I could just take an action and let go of the result.
Oprah: Before the disease, your whole focus in life was different.
Michael: I had been constantly taking care of this and making sure that was okay, and now Tracy and I are just in it.
We Hear You!