Linda Ronstadt tells the memaw and pepaw periodical AARP that the singing function on her vocal cords has been turned off and it doesn’t seem like she’ll ever be able to sing again. 67-year-old Linda was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 8 months ago, but she says that she started to show symptoms of the disease 8 years ago. Linda realized that something was seriously wrong when she opened up her mouth and could not yodel out one note. Linda was bit by a tick, so she thought that had something to do with her not being able to sing and she thought her hands were shaking due to shoulder surgery. When she finally went to see a neurologist, he told her that she has Parkinson’s. Linda said:
“I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t figure out why. I knew it was mechanical. I knew it had to do with the muscles, but I thought it might have also had something to do with the tick disease that I had. And it didn’t occur to me to go to a neurologist. I think I’ve had it for seven or eight years already, because of the symptoms that I’ve had. Then I had a shoulder operation, so I thought that’s why my hands were trembling.
Parkinson’s is very hard to diagnose, so when I finally went to a neurologist and he said, ‘Oh, you have Parkinson’s disease,’ I was completely shocked. I wouldn’t have suspected that in a million, billion years. No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease. No matter how hard you try.”
Linda can’t walk on her own. She travels around in a wheelchair and uses poles when walking on uneven ground.
Well, this is some shittyness for your Saturday. When I was 13 or 14, I bought CDs through Columbia House (it was the 90s, but you can still judge me) and they’d send their CD of the Month every month unless you canceled. I always forgot to cancel, which pissed my mom off, but when one month I got Linda Ronstadt’s “Winter Light” CD. I don’t even think I knew who Linda Ronstadt was, but I listened to it over and over and over and over and over again. “Winter Light” was basically like Enya singing into a snowflake. It was mesmerizing and I even listened to it at school on my Discman. One kid asked me what I was listening to and when I said “Linda Rondstadt,” a question mark covered her face and I responded with some dumb shit like, “Oh, she’s the ORIGINAL Mariah Carey.” (That doesn’t even make sense!)
And now I’m going to go listen to Linda Ronstadt on my iPhone and pray that someone asks me what I’m listening to, so I can say, “Only the ORIGINAL Mariah Carey.”