How to Lose Your Brain Without Losing Your Mind—that was my original title for the memoir written eight years ago. On the second or third page of the earliest draft, I made reference to myself as being a "lucky man." After a few edits, I kept going back to those two words, and eventually they found their way onto the cover of the book. They fit then, and they still do now.
As the title for this new book, Always Looking Up works on a couple of levels. First off—let's just get this one out of the way—it's a short joke. At a fraction of an inch under five-foot-five, much of my interaction with the world and the people in it has required that I tilt my head backward and direct my gaze upward. However, this isn't a manifesto about the hardships of the vertically challenged. Frankly, my height or lack thereof never bothered me much. Although there's no doubt that it's contributed to a certain mental toughness. I've made the most of the head start one gains from being underestimated. And that's more to the point of it—Always Looking Up alludes to an emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served me throughout my life and, perhaps, even saved me throughout my life with Parkinson's. It's not that I don't feel the aching pain of loss. Physical strength, spontaneity, physical balance, manual dexterity, the freedom to do the work I want to do when I want to do it, the confidence that I can always be there for my family when they need me—all of these have been, if not completely lost to Parkinson's, at least drastically compromised.