Ribbon of Tears

Ribbon of Tears

If each of our lives is a story, and I do believe each and every one of us has a story to tell, today’s page of my story would have tears staining the ink on the page. Today is a day I let go and trust. Today, I say good-bye to the idea of going back to the profession I love. Today, I turn in my letter of retirement much earlier than I ever anticipated. Today Parkinson’s knocks a little wind out of me.

By tomorrow, I will turn the page and look for new opportunities. Tomorrow, I will quit pouting and see all of the windows God is already opening as this door quietly closes in my life.

Actually, I won’t wait to turn the page of tomorrow. I will mentally put those boxing gloves on (physically put them on tomorrow) and hit back

I will do as the song Heather Richardson and I wrote…..

“dig deep, find strength, and trust. And throw that First Punch”

But……. first I will reflect on a line that Heather and I wrote in another song that I hope you all will be hearing her beautifully sing sometime soon…….

” Today is marked by a ribbon of tears to close the chapter of” my counseling years.

Good-bye —
ZCS

Hello —
New Chapter

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Why? First Punch for Kids with Challenges

The past seven years for me has been an incredible journey. I have been to a place that I never dreamed I would go. I have experienced a world right in front of me that struggles to fit in, keep up, and is often on the sidelines of life. My journey has been a spinal tumor, spinal cyst, and finally a Parkinson’s diagnosis through which I have discovered a whole new world of pain, struggle, fear, healing, acceptance, beauty, and joy. It is the world of the disabled or those with special needs.

From 2010 – 2015 I lived in that world as I watched and experienced my body succumb to the attacks of Parkinson’s. Slowly, my body began to stiffen and fail. I was losing my balance, my movement, my strength, and my smile. On July 28, 2015 I visited a doctor who prescribed for me a new medication. Miraculously, in one hour after being on that medication, I came back from my journey and the experience of being disabled. Although, I still have the same diagnosis, I am back to my almost fully functional self. There is no cure for Parkinson’s. I will most likely regress someday. I write this to you today because I sit here with the gift of my health back for an undetermined amount of time. Praise God.

For a while I have stepped out of the world of disability, but I cannot leave my friends behind. My friends are the little ones with challenges who I would see in the halls of the schools where I have worked for 24 years as a school counselor. I now have an amazing window into their world, our world in reality.

Our purpose for the First Punch Boxing for Kids with Challenges is to bridge that gap and bring strength and hope and to give kids the courage to step up and battle the challenges they face in their world.

I am a funny, fun, in love with life person. Parkinson’s tried to steal that from me. Parkinson’s lost. Hope won. The fear is gone. I want to share this hope with kids experiencing challenges in their lives.

I have so many people for whom I am thankful and so many more to whom I need to reach out and help.

Will you partner with us to fund this pilot program for the summer of 2017?

Let’s make it happen!

FIRST PUNCH – Noncontact Boxing for Kids with Challenges https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/147552517/first-punch-noncontact-boxing-for-kids-with-challe

Strong in Every Way

Zionsville Schools in Indiana are led by Dr. Scott Robison superintendent. He has launched a campaign in our community called “Strong in Every Way.” Why?

Before I knew this man, his very presence intimidated me. He was the one who made the tough decisions. The buck stopped with him. Then I had the privilege to get to know him in an unconventional way. In the winter of 2016, I nervously invited him to attend a kindness benefit concert sponsored by my elementary school. I discovered what most people do not know about him. Zionsville Schools’ superintendent is an extremely talented piano player and songwriter. He is very shy about this, and I promised to tell no one. Well, not only did I blab to everyone I know, I coerced him into performing at that concert. He performed a song that he had written for his students years ago as a young classroom teacher. Here I go again telling about his hidden talent. More than the musical talent, I learned under the exterior of leadership that takes hits every day and has to make the difficult, sometimes unpopular decisions, is a man who loves kids. He is a champion for the underdog, and I believe that this is the heart of where the Strong in Every Way initiative was born. I believe that his heart breaks when he hears about any tragedy that involves the youth of our community.

Is “Strong in Every Way” too lofty of a goal? Yes, it is for one person. No one person can be strong in every way. However, if we come together as a community, like pieces of a puzzle, we can fill in the gaps for each other in our time of need.

What I think he is asking us to do right now is to open our eyes. Start looking around us. Be aware of our own strengths and start noticing where we can reach out help those around us.

Strong in Every Way? No, not for one single person, but for a community that cares, yes!

After raising three boys in Zionsville, I can tell you that the support my sons received from teachers, administrators, counselors, coaches, volunteers, neighbors, grandparents, business owners, friends, etc. was priceless.

It is possible for us to come together and be “Strong in Every Way.”
Thanks, Dr. Robison, for taking a chance, starting an initiative, and challenging us all.
……and, Dr. Robison, I’m sorry I broke the promise again and shared with just a few more people about your songwriting talent.