Silver Linings

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That Summer...

November 3, 2016

That summer. No one could ever take it away from me. I was leaving second grade and entering third. I was making decisions that affected me for the rest of my life and just talking about that summer evokes magical images. It was a summer that I would first play a sport, Little League Baseball. It was the “Summer of 69.”

For the first time that summer I understood how important sports were in my family. My parents, both born prior to World War II, loved to work with kids. That year, as volleyball coaches, was one of their most successful seasons. The joy of being around a champion opened my eyes to what it would take to become one. Talent was just as important as working hard and becoming the best you can be. But the biggest lessons I've learned that summer, and reinforced in the years ahead, was perseverance.

During that summer I began the odyssey of choosing the teams that I would support throughout my life. While one of my cousins was choosing every champion from that year, I began to look at those sports teams that were known for their perseverance.

Indiana and Notre Dame, two local universities with rich traditions in basketball and football, were natural selections. Also, that summer, I was introduced to my hero, Harmon Killebrew, so from afar I rooted for the Minnesota Twins. And then there was this town a few miles to the west of us. They called it Chicago.

Since those magical days of that summer, I would cheer loudly and celebrate each time my team became a champion and there were quite a few: 1973, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005, 2010, 2013, and 2015. Just when I thought that there were no more chances of collapse, a three run lead evaporated with four outs remaining. I thought that it was going to happen again.

I loved it when the Irish, Hoosiers, Bears, Twins, Bulls, Sox, and Blackhawks won their championships, don’t get me wrong. But this most recent championship was not special to me just because it was my team. It wasn’t because it was for Ronnie or Ernie or Harry or Jack or the countless stars and utility players that graced Cubby blue. This championship was special because the Cubbies never gave up no matter what obstacle came their way.

It was only fitting that the Cubs won after a rain delay in extra innings. It was only fitting that the Cubs persevered, especially when even I feared another collapse. It is only fitting that the Cubs and more importantly sports are a metaphor for life. It was only fitting that I learned perseverance starting that summer.

Each day living with Parkinson’s reminds me to persevere just like my Mom and Dad have living and dying with the Cubs. They have always believed that “This Year” will be the year. They instilled in me through their love of sports and the Cubbies to fight hard. To believe. To persevere. The Cubbies did last night…and I will today. 

 

In The Quiet Times

September 19, 2016
There have been times when I have not posted for a few days or a couple weeks, but this may have been the longest amount of time between posts since I first started to correspond on this site. Forgive me if you have been looking forward to my words and found nothing new.

Part of living with Parkinson's is just that: living. When I was first diagnosed I told my wife that I was not going to just go and hide in a shell. I was going to try to live my life as I always had. I would be of full active...

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I Am The Greatest

June 29, 2016
"I am the greatest!" Words uttered about one who is on top of their game with confidence and swagger. Words spoken by Muhammad Ali and bestowed upon Pat Summit after their passing. Boxers feared fighting Ali and many lady basketball players feared playing teams coached by Summit.

So which spoke: "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe,'; or "But winning is not the point...Not giving up is the point."?

These two quotes define how each of these two s...
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Because it Matters

May 12, 2016
One of my students called me yesterday. She is in a predicament. She needs to graduate this semester. If not, she ages out. 

She needs to pass just my class. She has struggled previously and this is another attempt. There is added pressure as her dream job will not be available if she doesn't pass. She is less than 15% away from having enough points in class to pass, but the hardest items for her to complete stand before her.

I assured her that she will do it. I provided her a plan to do it and...

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Reaching Goals

May 6, 2016
This past week has seen the attainment of many goals that I made this past January. Many times we make those New Year's resolutions only to give up in the first thirty days.This year has been different.

The first goal I decided to reach was to lose fifty pounds. I knew that I weighed too much and I was having difficulty moving and sleeping. Parkinson's does not discriminate on who gets it or who doesn't. You can be tall or short, fat or skinny, male or female, and your skin can be one of a var...

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A Sea of Tulips

April 29, 2016

 

The month of April is nearly finished and so is the annual campaign for Parkinson's disease awareness. In a week our local National Parkinson's Foundation will hold it's annual Moving Day walk, I'll have family in town, and I'll see friends that I haven't seen for months.

A symbol that is commonly used for Parkinson's disease awareness is the red tulip. Our awareness color is a shade close to the cloud-filled sky in this picture where we see one tulip rising above all others. It is a scene th...

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You Are My Rock

April 8, 2016
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;"
Matthew 16:18

A short time ago, my sister relayed to me that the rock that I had given to my nephew, Noah, was nearly lossed. It appeared that her mother-in-law had come over to my sister's house and decided, as a favor to my sister, to clean her house. Seeing the rock in plain sight, and without knowing the significance of it, her mother-in-law tossed it into the trash. Frantically, after arriving home and not s...

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She Said "Yes!"

April 6, 2016
When I first started to date my wife, she introduced me to some of the important people in her life. I knew I was in trouble the first hour after I met her when she took me to meet her parents.Talk about pressure! While it was the first hour of our first date, we actually had been talking everyday for nearly two months before meeting in person for the first time.

The day before my wife and I first met online, I prayed to God that He would lead me to the spouse He wanted me to be with the rest ...
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Sto Lat!

February 25, 2016
Sto Lat (Polish Version)
Sto lat, sto lat, niech zyje zyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat, niech zyje zyje nam.
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech zyje, zyje nam.
Niech zyje nam!

Sto Lat (English version)
Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.
Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.
Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.
One hundred years

Today, Busia would have been, make that Busia IS one hundred years old. I say is, not was, because even though she passed on a few years ...

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Sometimes

January 16, 2016
Sometimes I post on this blog only separated by a few days, other posts by a few weeks. Sometimes. 

When I was younger, there was a song written by Henry Mancini and performed by The Carpenters called Sometimes. I was fortunate enough to learn this song and sing it with my high school choir. Its lyrics are profound in the sense that too many times we don't say "Thank You" enough to the people around us.

Since my last post, I have continued to have issues with my recently replaced knee. Then, ri...
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My Angel My Hero 

This is the unedited version of a video that I completed for My Angel My Hero, a non-profit whose mission is to bring awareness towards different social causes such as Parkinson's disease. Here is my story of how faith and my wife are my angel and my hero.

 

 

 

 Our Blog Writers Are...

Parkie


Martin Lukaszewski In January 2014, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In this blog I will share with you the silver linings of knowing where my life is going, what are my hopes for my future, and how I spend each day.

Caregiver


Jean Lukaszewski I am a Hospice Nurse and have had many patients who endured Parkinson's disease.My plan is to share with you my experiences not as a nurse, but as a wife who with her husband encounter this disease.

 

 

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