GO DAD….. GO!

Whats the saying….. apple ….. tree?

the apple does not fall far from the tree

  1. A child grows up to be similar to its parents, both in behavior and in physical characteristics.  [quotations ▼]

 

or in this case like father, like daughter

We spent the holidays slightly different this year ~ with a bad fall ~ a 7 day (partially paid through medicare)  all-inclusive trip to the hospital.

Don’s morning routine often consisted of placing quotes, reflections and hopes in the girls lunch boxes.

He sometimes references a treasured book someone once gave him because his thoughts aren’t always as clear

however, his optimism is.

Had ~ Be A Leader Love, Dad

Had ~
Be A Leader
Love, Dad

Our youngest thought just like her father….. On his first full day at the hospital she asked “Mom can you place this on dads lunch tray today?”

hadley dad letter 12-15

You can do anything you put your mind to – Your daughter Hadley ❤️

The lessons we teach are often non verbal. Love is constant and encouragement can  come from a sweet 8 year old child if they have witnessed it in their lifetime.

Children truly don’t think there isn’t anything their parents can’t do~ Hadley and her dads battle with Parkinson’s is no exception. I think deep down this coach is probably proudest that he has a coach-able kid… who might just one day, follow in his footsteps…. whether it’s on the field, court or in life.

a side note* “the p.s. is “you can draw muscle men if you want”. Something he does when she’s coloring with him….  You are never too old or too masculine to color with your kids ❤️

p.p.s. the oldest gets these too

Libby - Be Quick But Don't Be In A Hurry Love, Dad

Libby – Be Quick But Don’t Be In A Hurry
Love, Dad

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Never Lower Your Expectations Of Kindness

There are elements of Parkinson’s Disease that are rarely discussed. When outsiders think of the disease, their mind often flashes first to the always-lovable Michael J Fox and his great demeanor and positive outlook. Optimistically, we prescribe to his Always Looking Up mentality, but in reality, there is a whispered side of Parkinson’s that those in the community live every day.

Parkinson’s Disease is the world’s second ranking neurological disorder, yet other than the textbook tremor, many people are unfamiliar with the symptoms. It would be a great case study to examine how people who are unaware of the disease can treat a person who has the disease. When we go out as a family, we notice these people. We feel the stares, hear the loss of patience, and see the rolling of the eyes. We can imagine what is whispered. We’ve heard questions asked if he is drunk. We listen to the obligatory, “I’m sorry” once we disclose the diagnosis to new acquaintances. We are aware of both friends and strangers relief, thankful it’s not them.

As parents, we witness our children’s response as they look down to the ground, awkwardly wishing the moment would pass. Children are best at observation. They quietly read body language, posture and tone. They understand differences. They are forever processing. They are honest in their assessments and when they relay things back there is often no filter.

Our youngest daughter innocently asked, “Why do they think dads unseen” and in a recent journal entry she wrote
” People tret Dad like hes invisible and think he is werd. Like when people see him they make mad and bad faces😟”

“People tret Dad like hes invisible and think he is werd. Like when people see him they make mad and bad faces☹”

It pains my heart that at seven she understands that people glance over her dad, but yet she can’t process it. Here’s the man who she loves and thinks is amazing, but at the same time, struggles with others recognizing that there is something very different or strange about him. He has had Parkinson’s her whole life, and she knows that his disease at times can be limiting and hard. She is innately kind and patient, but each instance questioning why others find this difficult to do. Through her eyes I see the disconnect.

I don’t have an answer for her.

I could tell her ~ It’s ignorance. 
I could tell her ~ They don’t know better.
I could tell her ~ She was wrong and excuse away the behavior.
I could tell her ~ They are just having a bad day.
I could tell her ~ It doesn’t matter.

But we won’t

It (he) does matter.

Ignorance is not an excuse.

In 2015, regardless of what someones ailment is, they should know better.

She does understand and their behavior is wrong. What she is seeing is real – insensitive, unkind, inexcusable, thoughtless people are among us. She watches her father fight everyday to do things he once took for granted, from small things such as buttoning a shirt and writing to much larger things like walking, talking and keeping his balance steady. She sees him. He is not invisible. His love is as real as his challenges. He’s not “werd” (weird). He’s just her dad.

It’s a shame to say that people’s perceptions of us can affect our daily lives; that negativity and neglect could shape our children. Our goal is to make sure our girls never lower their expectations of how they should be treated and vice versa. Circumstance has taught my girls strong lessons, and I am grateful for the virtues that they now hold.

Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself.
No one is irrelevant.
Kindness matters.

Oh What A Night!

We traveled as a family for the first time to the wonderful city of Seattle.  To attend the American Parkinson’s Disease Association Magic Of Hope Gala. Don was being honored.   What an incredible time for us to come together and share our story, journey and hopes for the future.

The Magic of Hope Gala 2014 - American Parkinsons Association

The Magic of Hope Gala American Parkinson’s Association

We were lucky to meet many warriors of the disease who are valiantly fighting as well. We were happy to help raise awareness and money for programs and research that we believe will help those afflicted.
Copyright 2014 Garet Munger

Copyright 2014 Garet Munger

We were humbled that Russell Wilson would take a moment to help support our cause by speaking and donating.

Attached is a clip from his tribute to Don.

I know Don was honored to hear Russell’s words but honestly, upon reflection we both agreed that he had given a gift to the Parkinson’s community and our family – especially, our girls.

As the disease progresses and the father they once knew is harder and harder to see, they will have this small token from Russell.

Helping them remember what a difference Don made in his career as a coach and human being.

Once again, thank you Russell.
Until there is a cure we will be the change.

 

Kindness Does Exist

Stumbled upon this today.  I don’t think Don has talked to Coach Etch for years now, but some, in this brotherhood of athletics, are truly kind.  Thank you Coach for thinking of us and sharing our story.

Be Well!

Always Brothers In the Athletic Fraternity

Always Brothers In the Athletic Fraternity

 

Worthwhile Departure for You…Sent Thursday, June 20, 2013

 

I was doing some

research about a

football coaching

acquaintance, & i

came upon these two

web pages:

http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/15/smallbusiness/parkinsons-dress-shirts/index.html

...some folks say:

"Necessity is the

Mother of Invention..."

...i was aware of

Don's battle w/

Parkinson's, but

was trying to learn

what he's doing

lately:

https://magnaready.wordpress.com/tag/don-horton/

...This was somewhat

of a departure from

what I generally

share w/ You, but i

thought You may get

something special from

either, or Both...

...i have