The RV storage lot was filled with 100’s of RV’s waiting patiently for their owners to come use them. My parent’s RV has sat for over 8 years only to be driven around the huge lot once in a blue moon. My Dad, a retired Battalion Chief for Los Angeles County Fire Department, has Parkinson’s disease. It has slowly robbed him of his abilities to do many things he did before effortlessly. One was taking trips in his beloved RV with my Mom. As it became apparent they would never take another trip again, they decided to give it to Larry and me. We will be using it to travel the US giving Veterans and their families’ workshops on reducing stress, anxiety and symptoms of PTSD.
As I was looking at the other RV’s, I saw a little sparrow perched on the windshield wipers pecking at the window of an abandoned RV. I noticed there was another sparrow inside the RV flying around. I walked around the RV to see how the bird got in its prison. I found an opening that the little guy used to get in but now couldn’t find to get out. I watched the bird trying to figure out how to get out where he could fly without limits. I realized my Dad would also love to go back to the time in his life he had no limits to what he could do. Now he is stuck in a body that no longer allows him to live his hearts desires of travel. It’s not easy to knowingly feel your abilities slip away. The difference is the RV employee will come to set the sparrow free to fly where he chooses, my Dad will never escape from his prison.
Someday we will all have limits thrust upon us physically and mentally, the only control we will have is over our thoughts and how we respond to these imposed limits. My Dad has found ways to stay as positive as possible, he joined a choir for people with Parkinson’s. The singing keeps their voices strong as one of Parkinson’s symptoms is a weakened voice. Dad has found his tribe of people who share the same prison sentence yet found a shared passion that allows them to soar above the prison walls of Parkinson’s with their voices. He told me once that the key to remaining positive was to stay grateful. He shared that focusing on gratitude allows him to not focus on the negative aspects of his prison but to find the rays of sunshine that he experiences on a daily basis. I am grateful for my Dad as he has taught me so much through the years on how to live life with integrity, treating others with respect and always focusing on being grateful as that is the grease to move through life’s rough spots. Thanks Dad for all the great lessons.