Thank You

Thank you to everyone out there who watched the news or YouTube video. Thank you for your kind comments. Thank you for your support. Thank you for downloading the song. Heather and I hope and pray that this song encourages and lifts people up.

I have caught myself saying that Parkinson’s is the worst best thing that has ever happened to me. Yes, I would gladly give it back, if I could, but then I would have to give back all of the wonderful people I have met. I would also have to give back all of the life lessons I have learned. I would have to give back this deep appreciation for each day of the rest of my life I have been given. I don’t have a choice but to keep you, Parkinson’s. I do have the choice to wake up and say “it’s a beautiful day!” Bring it on!
Thank you, all!

First Punch – Single by Heather Richardson https://itun.es/us/8suEib

Dear World,

Dear World,

I am warning you things are changing. The way we look at the word disability is fighting to change. At this time I know a 17 year old girl with Down’s who hosts her own cooking show. Another girl with this characteristic is applying at some of the most prestigious colleges in our country. In this video, my little Bella doesn’t see her Cerebral Palsy. She sees her self as a strong fighter, as she should.

World, you have to change. Some of us may do things differently than the typical person, but we are fighting. We matter, everyone of us.

And if you find yourself with the opportunity to assist us in some way, be thankful. You will most likely learn a great deal from our strength and from our challenges.

If you find yourself spending time with us, you will know a deeper meaning of life. You will have more compassion. You will wrestle with your own perception of what is important in life– and the lines drawn in the sand of what is a disability may just get blurred and forgotten. You might see us not as a person with Down’s, CP, Autism, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc. You might see us as the girl with curly hair. The boy who is funny. The mom who writes. You may find that it is fun to spend time with us.

World, We are fighters. Like Bella in this video, we will not rest until you see and know us for who we are. And when you finally open your eyes, you will see how boring the world would be without us.

World, We are not broken. You are. We were fearfully and wonderfully made, just like everyone one that inhabits you. World, don’t ignore us. Being ignored is the worst pain.

From One who who sometimes acts like she is from another planet,
Lisa

Listen for the Battle Cry….

It’s finally here– First Punch. I know it seems like an odd title for a song of hope. Those two words sum up so much for me. I look back at when I would sit in the darkness of despair, literally in my closet, with the realization that this Parkinson’s Disease is not going away. My closet was my place of refuge, and I could not find my way out. “Mom’s crying in the closet again!” Those are words  I will never forget living with all men who did not know how to help me. Then I was encouraged, or should I say coerced into going to a Rocksteady boxing class for people with Parkinson’s. Taking that “First Punch” changed my life.

When I shared the lyrics with a friend of mine going through a different type of struggle in her life, she told me, “You Know, Lisa, this is not just a song about boxing and Parkinson’s. This is about my struggle, too. It helps me to face what I fear, too.”

So to anyone out there who is facing despair and needs encouragement, “listen, listen to the battle cry calling to get up, get up and try”…..

Don’t give up! There are people who care.

Sometimes you need to trust and have faith to take that first Punch at what you fear most.

….. so dig deep, find strength and trust….. and throw that First Punch!

First Punch, by Heather Richardson

https://itun.es/us/8suEib

First Punch

First Punch by Heather Richardson, of Bloomington, IN, to be Released on iTunes March 24,2017 is a Song of Inspiration, Hope & Strength The song was co-written with Lisa Cox of Zionsville, IN.
BLOOMINGTON, March 24, 2017 – The song “First Punch” recorded and co-written by Heather Richardson, a local musician, tells the story of inspiration and hope for all of us fighting to not give up when life presents its unavoidable challenges. Picture a teen struggling with depression, a father losing his job, a child with special needs or an injured military hero. Now picture a gym full of Parkinson’s patients & their coaches fighting to regain stability in their stance, power in their punch and ownership of their mind and body they once knew.

The lyrics of this song were born from the depth of despair. In her fifties, Cox works as an elementary school counselor, and fully enjoys the active life of raising three grown boys.  When she was “punched in the gut” with the news that changed the course of her life, Parkinson’s Disease, despair and loss is the only way she. can describe the words first heard, “no cure!” Then she “listened to the battle cry, calling, to get up, get up and try!”  This was the  battle cry of friends and family encouraging her to go to a place called Rocksteady Boxing. She went there reluctantly, but when she took that “First Punch,” she began to feel hope! What she and Heather want to share with the world is that sometimes it takes reaching out and throwing that first punch at what you fear in life. Then “ you’ll start to feel your spirits rise”. Although inspired by one battling Parkinson’s Disease, this song is for everyone battling something, and that is all of us! Be brave and don’t let your fears stand in your way…

“First Punch” is not the first time Richardson & Cox have collaborated musically. Heather sang a song at a Kindness Concert sponsored by Stonegate Elementary school February, 2016 that she and Cox wrote together two weeks before the concert and before they actually met each other in person. Cox says that she is fortunate to have found such a talented musician to bring out the depth of emotion of her words through Richardson’s melodies. Richardson is a very talented songwriter. You will be hearing more from her in the future. Cox is inspired by all the children who face living with disabilities. Heather’s cousin’s daughter, Bella, who has cerebral palsy is one of her heros. Bella and Cox box together.

For more information about Heather Richardson and hear a sample of the song, visit http://www.heatherrichardsonmusic.com.

For more information about Rock Steady visit http://www.rocksteadyboxing

img_5652

And They Battle On

I have been taught a new lesson about how to live life in the past two days. I am in Florida with my parents and their “snowbird” friends. They have all flocked together to escape the harshest Mother Nature has to offer in the north for three or four months.

Before I came down here, I would chuckle and shake my head every time I would call my mom on the phone. She never had more than 20 seconds to talk to me. The conversations went a little like this. “Hi, Mom. How are you? Guess what? I just found out I need surgery on my foot.” “Oh, Lisa, I’m sorry to hear that, but I’ll have to call you back. Bocce Ball starts in 10 minutes.” Other familiar responses would be “May I call you later? — we are meeting people for dinner, friends are coming over, we are off to serve at a mission center, we are off to church, or I can’t hear you from the noise at the pool.”

From my wintery cold sunless end of the cell phone, I enviously envisioned “the lucky ones,” as I thought of them, blissfully laughing and effortlessly living out their golden years without a care, so I thought.

I have visited my parents and the friends they have met over the past few years at this condo in Florida several times in the past, but for some reason, I see them through new lenses now. Don’t get me wrong. I know they all are fortunate to have the means to be able gather and escape the darkness of winter. I am well aware that they are all fortunate enough to even escape the world of work and have retirement years as I know that they are in the minority of the world’s population of poor. However, what I see clearly now are lovely people who are gracefully doing the best they can. You can escape the snow, cold and ice storms, but you can’t escape the harshness of what life brings with it the older you get. You can’t escape the physical aches and pains and the emotional scars of loss after loss. Getting old is not for sissies.

Of their friends, there is one man who refuses to put his beloved wife in a nursing home. ” I have done things as her care taker that I never dreamed I would do, but you do what you need to do,” he shared. — and he battles on with a cigar in his hand.

There is woman from a distance who looks like she could be a model. She is graceful, beautiful, fashionable. You have to look very closely to see the hint of grief that follows her. She has lost a husband, son, and almost lost a grandson in a random shooting. — and she battles on.

I get a hug from another friend I have met in the past who remembers me. She is one of the kindest people I know. I would never have dreamt that welcoming, thoughtful soul carried with it a real depression that relentlessly won’t leave her alone — and she battles on.

There are countless stories of love, resilience, fortitude, and acceptance living in these condos. If I am wise, I will take away a lesson that will serve me well in the years to come.

As I listen to the echo of their laughter at an evening pool- side gathering, I hear them share stories from their past. Through the pain that aging brings with it, they find each other and share, love, and live life abundantly, not alone, but as birds who flock do, together. That is the lesson I have learned, together.

Together– and they battle on.

More Than Running Up the Score

img_5374-1img_5374.png

What 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

V1
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

V2
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

V3
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

Chorus
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

http://www.hoopshall.com/hall-of-fame/john-milholland/?back=HallofFame