Balloon Volleyball

Since none of us have yet to meet “the end”, whether it be by death, death or death – we haven’t the faintest of what lies in wait for each of us in the “great beyond”.

We may be frightened of it, contemplate it, or like most, put it out of our minds until the grim reaper knocks on our door.

When you’re playing “balloon volleyball”, in a wheelchair, in a long term skilled nursing facility – you understand, whether innately, or being cognizant of what lies before you, that the grand mystery of it all will shortly be within your grasp.

As I watched my 88-year-old father participating in “balloon volleyball” in the long term skilled nursing facility he resides in due to Parkinson’s, Lewy Body Dementia, and other ailments too numerous to list, I looked at him and every other participant, batting a balloon about in a circle of wheelchairs, thinking to myself…if I live another 25 years, I shall be there too, wondering, is this all it comes down to…and will I be able to do what they’re doing?

I watched each individual batting a balloon about.  Most were so decrepit, so infirmed, so limited in their movements that I marveled at their abilities to just put a hand or foot on the dancing balloon.

rula-sibai-2387-unsplashThey knew the reason they were doing balloon volleyball…to keep the body moving, if even it’s a poke or kick of a balloon. Each of the 15 or so patients participated as best they good.

60 years or so ago, each of them were vibrant, lively, engaged, and had a hope for a long life.  And each of them have lived that long life – only to find themselves batting a balloon about hoping to facilitate continued movement of arms and legs.

And yet, the look of happiness on each of their faces, from the simple act of continuing to participate in life as best they could, drove home something I’ve always understood and that has been imparted to me by various other “senior” citizens I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since my twenties. That being – to keep trying, keep participating, keep accomplishing – it’s all this life is about.

So, in tribute to the 15 or so balloon volleyball participants I had the honor of watching today, I send along a very lively few minutes of Vivaldi…for many years ago, they felt the life, passion and vibrancy in this piece. They accomplished, in whatever their interests were, success; whether it be the simple and sublime accomplishment of imparting love to their families, or any of their many other worthwhile endeavors to give of their talents and abilities. They accomplished…and did so splendidly.

***

VIVALDI: Concerto «per Sua Altezza Reale di Sassonia» in G minor RV 576, Akademie für Alte Musik

Photo credit (front page):  http://www.unsplash.com/@creativewey

Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com/@rulasibai

 

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