I had to look the word resilient up in the dictionary. Maybe I didn’t have a clear understanding of this adjective that is frequently used to describe children and how they respond to many of life’s challenges. When talking honestly and openly about our children and Parkinson’s, we keep hearing “kids are resilient”. As if to discharge those little bodies with large minds and their journey through life with a parent who has an illness. Often when you state a worry about your child and how they are processing things, you are dismissed.
“They seem happy.”
“They will be fine.”
“Kids are resilient.”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard this……
Taken from Merriam-Websters Dictionary it reads – Resilient: Able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc..
I personally have a visceral response when I hear this uttered. My children will never “return to an original shape”. Their lives have been completely altered. Their hearts pulled and their minds stretched to limits that I truly wonder where the ceiling will be before breaking. Children are not prepared to see someone they love deeply suffer.
Our children are never going to “bounce back”, “rebound” or “recover”. They will be forever changed from what they witness, see and feel and that’s OK! It’s our firm belief that they will in turn make this world just a little better because not returning to their original form is pretty awesome too.
We choose to believe theyareThriving: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances
Because their blue print has changed forever, they will have strong voices, be leaders, show compassion, be teachers, and become the best little advocates one could ask for!
Don and I are celebrating our 21st year of marriage.
Not a typo.
Really, it’s been 21 years.
We’ve never been a couple to exchange extravagant gifts.
A few years back I received one gift that I will always cherish.
You see, my mom never throws anything away. Not a hoarder but a complete sentimentalist. Unbeknownst to me she provided Don with a piece of my past that she thought he “might like”. A throw back Thursday treasure. A cheerleading picture (pre photoshop days!).
Always Your Cheerleader
Don, in turn, took my brace faced picture, purchased a side by side frame and inserted his playing days football picture.
Don – Wittenburg Tiger Days
Attached a note that read …….
We are quite the pair. Meant to be. Always by my side. Love – Don
Couldn’t agree more. I can’t find my pom poms or do a herkie any longer but I am cheering him (and many others) on now, in more ways than one.
many ask me personally “What my home run is for our company” My answer is simple. There isn’t one until there is a cure. Therefore, for the month of April – Parkinson’s Awareness Month, we are donating a percentage of each purchase to the michael j. foundation to help fund a cure. I truly belive we are all in this together!
Below is the Blog that was posted on behalf of MagnaReady® and MJF and teamFox
MagnaReady Supports Team Fox for Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Posted by Maura Horton, April 02, 2014
Editor’s Note: With herportion of proceeds campaign launching this April, we asked Team Fox member and MagnaReady creator Maura Horton to tell us the story behind her innovative magnetic button down shirts.
“Mom, will you button my shirt?”
As a mother of two young children, this is a question that I have heard repeatedly over the last 10 years. When one child mastered the skill, the second began to verbalize the same basic need. Somewhere in the mix, I started hearing the same pleas from my husband Don. As the limited mobility effects of Parkinson’s began to set in, he was beginning to struggle with this simple task as well.
First, I started noticing that I was ready before Don; something that had never happened in our many years of marriage. I was the one now standing at the bottom of the stairs inquiring, “How much longer?”, pressing him, “We are going to be late!” During our morning routine, I would witness instinctive, honest-loving moments from our two girls, jumping up on our bed, using it as a ladder, to help their 6-foot-4 athletic father get ready for work by helping him to button his dress shirt. I was naive, and thought that this challenge only happened for him when he was in the privacy of our home, not really giving thought to how Don got dressed when we weren’t around. He has Parkinson’s, but we rarely ever talked about the limitations. To admit to the struggle would mean acceptance.
As a college football coach, Don traveled quite a bit with a busy schedule in and out of locker rooms and hotels. The season brings early mornings and late nights, and honestly not a lot of time for small talk in between. However, on one particular night, after coming in from away game, he was anxious to tell me, “I had a hard day.” He repeated and elaborated, “I had a hard day. A player had to help me get dressed to catch the team plane.” Once he spoke of all the particulars I desperately wanted to help him. This was, after all, a man who never complained.
I realized in his words that despite the wins and losses on the field, here in this moment, my husband felt defeated. His dignity had been lost, and the simple fact that his body was betraying him was almost unbearable. For over twenty years, I had been on the sidelines watching Don be a leader, inspiring his players to be better players; to be better men. Mentally, I knew he could overcome the changes he was going through and could motivate himself to stay strong and move forward, but physically, I realized, that his battle with Parkinson’s was not going to be a fair fight, and I could see that my husband’s spirit was starting to deflate.
Getting dressed shouldn’t be stressful; living with a disability is hard enough. As I thought through how I could help, the epiphany came, and soon MagnaReady – Stress Free Shirting was born. If there is anything that I have learned from being a coach’s wife, perseverance prevails and something constructive comes from every defeat.
How you can join us this April for Parkinson’s Awareness month:
In our office hangs a sign that says – “Remember Why You Started”. Our mission is simple and MagnaReady is dedicated to giving back to the Parkinson’s community that we are proud to be a part of. So throughout the month of April, MagnaReady is committed to donating 10 percent of every purchase to the MJF Foundation during Parkinson’s Awareness Month.
When Don and I were dating, some 24 years ago, I would often sit in an office at his alma mater, Wittenberg, waiting for him to “finish one last thing” or make “just one more recruiting call”. He valued his job but more than anything, he was honored to be called a Wittenberg Tiger. I knew then that I was second fiddle to his career and many young men. As I sat there and tried to pass time, there was one 8 by 10 picture front and center on his desk that I stared at. Three men he would pridefully call warriors with tremendous work ethic and mental toughness. Three men that battled day in and day out on the offensive line and in the academic classroom. Three men in the trenches that helped secure an OAC Championship. Three leaders that showed incredible respect for each other and their teammates. Three people he never could forget. Eric Horstman, Scott Bowen, Ken Bonner.
Eric Horstman, Scott Bowen, Ken Bonner.
As Don move on to new challenges, offices and environments, this picture always remained on his desk. Even as our life grew, it became surrounded by pictures of our girls and it continued to provide an instant reminder of his roots. When we relocated to Raleigh, Don brought the picture home. I never asked why but I recall the day he shared the story of these three men he was honored to coach with our girls. It immediately brought me back to the moment he spoke so highly of them to me. Explaining that these men played football in the purest sense. Just for the love of the game. You could feel his sincere admiration.
Then our home was destroyed by fire… a long story for another post…and all of our pictures were scorched. Years were spent replacing and restoring us whole again but sorting through the charred memories was one of the most difficult things I had to do. You have the memories stored in your mind but a picture silently recaptures your emotions and transcends you back to that moment in time. Somethings, we had to accept, would never be replaced.
Don has never been someone who wanted to accumulate “things”. He is not one that wants the latest toys or technology. His birthday was coming up and when you love someone who has a progressive disease, the only gift you want to bestow on them is restored health. Last I searched, I couldn’t find the gift of health. Once you come to terms with the fact that you are not able to grant or find a cure, you hope you can give the gift of a feeling. The pleasurable sensation of what it feels like to not have the disease. A moment in time, a reprieve, a transcended cure of sorts.
Don had reconnected with Scott and Eric this fall. They were kind enough to take time way from their families, travel and pay us a visit. Don was completely honored to share with them at this point in their lives and reminisce about the days of the past. I mentioned the picture – not sure if they would even recall it. Scott relayed that his dad had actually taken it and yes, he was still in possession of it.
So for Don’s birthday this week, with the help of Scott, the picture now proudly is displayed in our home again. A true homecoming of sorts. A momentary cure. A restored reminder of strength, courage and loyalty. A piece of the past providing fortitude for the future. Stories of three men that our girls will be able to hear, visualize and learn from.
With the pictures Scott sent, he enclosed a card with birthday wishes. He signed it “Tiger Up”.
I explained to the girls that this is unwritten “man code”, and really means ~love~
The title of the article …. Russell Wilson’s Kindness Leaves A Mark…. we should all ask~ what mark will we leave. It’s easy to get consumed in our daily lives but I hope we all take time out to better the lives of others- on a super bowl level!
NEW YORK — One day in 2009, Russell Wilson found himself addressing hundreds of students at St. Timothy’s School in Raleigh, N.C.
We Can ALL do great things!
The topic was bullying.
At the time, Wilson was the starting quarterback for NC State and a first-team All-ACC selection. Maura Horton, the wife of Wolfpack offensive line coach Don Horton, had invited Wilson to speak at St. Timothy’s because the couple’s daughter attended the school and a friend of the family who worked there wanted to be proactive in starting a dialogue about the harmful effects of bullying.
They all figured the amiable Wilson was the perfect guy to stand up and talk about doing the right thing. What they didn’t know was that he also had a confession to make.
Turns out, Wilson had been a bit of a bully himself.
It sounds hard to believe for anyone who has followed Wilson’s ascension to football’s biggest stage. On Sunday, the 5-foot-11, second-year pro will lead the Seattle Seahawks against future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
But Maura Horton remembers watching all the kids that day at St. Timothy’s as they listened with rapt attention to the young man whose ease and openness allowed him to immediately connect with his audience.
“We were surprised to learn what he said,” Horton told espnW this week. “Russell doesn’t seem like someone who ever could have behaved that way. But because of his honesty, the kids were blown away by him.”
Wilson told the students that when he was younger he would sometimes be mean to his classmates on the playground because he thought that would make the “cool kids” like him more. It took a teacher pulling him aside one day for Wilson to realize there was nothing cool about taunting someone.
“You don’t want to act like that,” the teacher said, reminding Wilson that being good at sports wasn’t a free pass for bad behavior. The message: Sports are fleeting, but words and deeds are permanent.
“Your actions stay with you forever,” Wilson told the students, “so you want to make sure those actions are something you’re proud of in the future.”
The Horton family knows a thing or two about Wilson and meaningful actions. To them, he is a man whose awareness and sensitivity changed their lives.
About a year ago, Maura launched Magna Ready, a business inspired by an interaction between her husband and Wilson after NC State lost a road game during the 2009 season. Don Horton suffers from Parkinson’s disease, although he had not told anyone on the team back then. Because of media obligations, Wilson was one of the last players getting dressed that day, and he noticed that Horton was struggling to button his shirt. The team bus was waiting outside, so the sophomore quarterback stopped what he was doing and, without saying a word, buttoned his coach’s shirt.
When Don arrived home that night, he told his wife what had happened. He confessed his embarrassment and felt distraught that a layer of his independence had been stripped away. But an idea was born: magnetic buttons for dress shirts.
Maura Horton sent Wilson a handwritten thank-you note after hearing about his interaction with her husband. She says she believes Wilson’s awareness in the locker room was heightened by what was happening in his own life as he watched his father’s health decline. Harrison Wilson III died in June 2010 of complications from diabetes. Russell then transferred to Wisconsin after his junior season.
“Most players are focused on themselves after a loss,” Maura Horton said. “It was just a brief moment, but his dad was sick at the time, and I think Russell had a higher sense; he was just one of those guys who got it.”
Last summer, the Hortons and their two daughters visited Wilson at his passing academy in his hometown of Richmond, Va. At one point, the conversation turned to hopes and goals, and Wilson said he wants to win four Super Bowls. Unsure why he picked that number, Maura Horton went home and did a Google search, learning that if Wilson someday wins four titles he will tie Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the quarterbacks with the most Super Bowl rings.
During Wednesday’s media availability in New Jersey, Wilson discussed his pursuit of greatness.
“If someone tells me no, I’m going to try to do the best I can to prove them wrong — more for myself than anyone else,” he said. “I’m a self-motivator. I believe that God has given me a sense of leadership to be able to motivate other people, but also myself. I want to be the best one day, and I’m not going to shy away from that. I’ve got a long ways to go, but I think, to be honest with you, God has put me here for a particular reason.”
The way the Hortons see it, Wilson’s legacy is already set.
Quote is by Katharine Hepburn – Many know her from her amazing breath of work on-screen. Others know her for having Essential Tremor as well.
Essential Tremor is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. Some even feel an internal shake. It is often confused with Parkinson’s disease although ET is eight times more common and affects an estimated 10 million Americans alone.
“Now to squash a rumor. No, I don’t have Parkinson’s. I inherited my shaking head from my grandfather Hepburn. I discovered that whiskey helps stop the shaking. Problem is, if you’re not careful, it stops the rest of you too. My head just shakes, but I promise you, it ain’t gonna fall off!”.
One of the greatest gifts that I am receiving this holiday is pictures and stories of your loved ones in their MagnaReady shirts. Some of you I have had the pleasure of speaking with directly and I so enjoy putting a face with the name!
Please keep sending.
One face, one shirt at a time – we WILL change the way limited mobility or disability look. We are all in this together!
The pictures of your loved ones in their new shirts are making our year!!
Maura, Here is a picture of my Dad–Richard Richardson– in his MagnaReady shirt. It was a big hit and the quote of the day was: “WOW–NO BUTTONS!”
Wish i had video taped it, it was SO well received! Thanks again Maura! Lucky