More Than Running Up the Score


img_5374.pngWhat can you say about a dad who has shown you such unconditional love all your life? How do you express your gratitude for a man who has pointed you to the way of faith by his leadership of his family? What can you do for a man who gives and gives and gives to his grandchildren, children, community? It’s hard to give him gifts because he is content with a simple pair of khaki pants, blue v-neck sweater, and always the brown leather loafers on his feet– a man of well-groomed, simple tastes.

My dad’s best attribute and funniest to share is his constant giving. He is a giver.

When my middle son was in 2nd Grade, the class went on a field trip to see The Nutcracker. My Tyler was intrigued by nutcrackers and asked for one at Christmas. I could not find a cheap one, so I asked my dad to look for one at a sale. My dad is a avid antique collector. Well, he found one. In fact, in line with how he does things, he found 40. Tyler got 40 nutcrackers for Christmas that year.

When I started co-writing music a few years ago, I asked him to look for a cheap guitar or piano keyboard. I got one. I got two. The girl with little musical sense who really only needs a pen and paper to co-write music, now owns 5 guitars, a mandolin, 2 keyboards, a French horn, a trombone, and an accordion that is bigger than me. I stopped him from buying the clarinet!

I could go on and on with these stories of giving that make me laugh and warm my heart. It’s how he loves us, and he does it well.

My dad grew up poor. I’ve heard the story countless times. “When I went to college, all I had with me was a paper sack on my lap with all I owned.” He had a passion and talent that got him to college. He could shoot the lights out of a basketball. And that is the life I have always known– basketball. From his college’s Hall of Fame and All Century Team to To His induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach, my dad found his way “running up the score.”

However, that’s not my dad. He may be a fierce competitor on the court, but off the court you will see a gentle man walking a little fluff white dog that he adores. His love for animals is a part of his charm.

So, in the only way I know how to express my love for my dad, “Dad, here are your song lyrics. You have taught me that life is ‘more Than Running Up the score!'”

More Than Running Up the Score

Old rusted hoop Nailed to a pole
In a dirt backyard court so long ago
hours rehearsing for that final scene
The last second shot that goes in clean
He battles the neighbors living next door
Bring it shooting hoops 4 on 4
This is how he thought life would be
Always Fighting for victory

Teenage years brought lots of praise
In College his records still stand today
he coached his own high school team for years
Each Friday night the crowd went wild with cheers
the trophies came and the small town fame
Everybody knew his name
But he found victory in a different place
Through the years relied on grace

On Sundays he hears the church bells ring
The hymns of old he loves to sing
Faith is the victory he was searching for
So much more than running up the score

what he learned outside that gym floor
Life was so much more
so much score
Than running up the score
so much more
Than running up that score


Author: parkinsons95

I used to be a stay in the lines, go with the flow, don't make waves kind of person. I have changed. Parkinson's is one of the many cards dealt to one in life that can shift the mind set. I am now a find the line and push beyond it, swim against the flow, and waves? I will splash and make as much joyful noise as I can, while I can, fearlessly. Brave.

11 thoughts on “More Than Running Up the Score”

  1. Lisa, I love this because your father is so much more to me. He took a very young first time varsity coach and teacher under his wing. He taught me, he coched me, he loved me (as did your mother). He allowed me to teach and coach without micromanaging. He is one of the best men I ever had a chance to work with and for. I had to take disability and move to Knightstown with my family, and one of the things I miss most is looking up from the scorer’s bench and seeing your dad in Case Arena. Much love, Deby McDowell


  2. I got in a little trouble my senior year and your wonderful dad came over to my house to check on me and remind me and my parents that I was a good kid that just made a dumb mistake and it didn’t change the way he thought about me. He was disappointed in my choice but not in me. I will never forget the grace and love he showed to me in that moment. He and your momma are a treasure.


  3. Best coach/teacher/principal/ person ever!!! Many memories of basketball games, pep block and how much school spirit we had! Those were the best of times and I wish times were different so the kids that followed would have had that experience.

    During his tenure at Frankfort, Mr Millholland always worked to help make us successful, either in the classroom,out of the classroom, on and off the court. He was never disrespectful or talked down to us kids!

    The mold was definitely broke after they made him!! Thank you for the memories Mr. Millhollound! I wish you well Lisa in your battle with Parkinson’s!!


  4. Lisa, your dad has been in my life since the beginning. I still remember his love and adoration for my great grandparents, Emery and Betty Hoffman. I smile because as you described the khaki pants, vneck sweater and brown loafers, I can close my eyes and see him standing in front of me. Your Dad and Mother are such precious jewels to my family and I will always cherish their love and friendship over the years!! Praying, as always, for John and Connie.


  5. This man was remarkable. As an angered and misguided teen. This man was extremely caring, patient, and comforting to me. He never pushed but, always listened. He could tell when I just needed space and we would talk about the issue later. He and very few others are the reason I made it through HS. Most don’t know my story but, I had little reason to trust any adult. This man made it easy for me to trust him! Thank you, Keona Shelley Stidham


  6. Lisa your dad and mom are the best people in the world your dad always welcomed you to school and asked if you needed to talk about anything or if you needed help with a teacher he never said I’m too busy to hear about your problems I remember my junior year of high school he asked me if I could be the mascot I told him that I would and we became friends and are family’s are the best of friends now he’s one of my best friends like some one else said they broke the mold with him


  7. It’s difficult to describe the impact both your father and mother had on me. He noticed my hard work in a summer school basketball class in 1981, and from that point forward, I wanted to make him proud. In high school his fast break drills made us all want to lose our lunches, but if he would have asked, we would have lost anything/everything for him. There’s no doubt that if I possess even a modicum of a drive for excellence for what I’m doing, it’s in some way attributed to the influence of John Milholland.

    And your mother—if I had not taken her Business Communications class as a Senior, I would be lost today. As a person who speaks publicly multiple times per week, I have relied upon what she began to teach me, literally, thousands upon thousands of times. I’ve had people ask, “How in the world do you know what that word means?” My response, “Connie Milholland!”

    No doubt I have not seen or spoken to your parents since moving away from Frankfort in the late 1980s, but if you would do me a favor, tell them they made a significant difference in my life. Remind them again that they were and are good and faithful servants. Reiterate to them that their pouring their lives into mine, their impartation of wisdom and kindness to me, and their high expectations have made an eternal difference in my life and the lives of my wife, my five children, my students, and the people to whom I’ve ministered the past two decades.

    The world as a whole, and most definitely my world is definitely brighter because of the light of John and Connie Milholland. Thank you, Lisa, for your post. Blessings to you and yours.


  8. Lisa, your Dad is a wonderful person! We have alway thought the world of both your parents! Thank you,for this post! They are and were always a blessing to all who knew them❤️


  9. It’s hard to believe that my high school principal is my best friend. He’s always asking about my family, never heard him say anything bad about anybody. I have nothing but admiration for your parents.


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