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Soaring Above Life’s Imposed Limits

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.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • BBnLarry author
    2 years ago

    Thank you Chris, I so appreciate your kind words.
    This was written in March of 2015, little did I know that June my Mom would become very ill in the ICU. I flew out from Texas to care for her on June 22, 2015 and never left. Mom passed away in October. I knew with in a week of being here in California, I was not going back to my life in Texas. Dad and Mom both needed me, and when Mom died it was even more evident, leaving my Dad was not an option. My husband retired early a year later, to move out to California so we could be Team Daddy Bear together. We are focused on filling his Let’s get it done Life List! Some day we will live in our RV traveling the country sharing Emotional Self Sufficiency. I am in the midst of finishing the book based on the ESS program. I have added a group to my focus, Care Partners, as I am going on 2,5 years of being my Dad’s Care Partner. We have no idea what the future will bring us, so we stay in the wonderment of the unknown, enjoying each day.

  • Chris H. moderator
    2 years ago

    What a profound story, @bbnlarry. Thank you so much for sharing it. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s diagnosis, and the limitations he now faces. It’s really great that you’re taking the RV on the road to give these workshops on these important topics. I’m sure your dad is very proud of you for that. I’m happy to hear that he’s been able to join a Parkinson’s choir. That must help not only his voice, but his feeling of connectedness to others with PD. He truly sounds like a great man. Thanks again for sharing and I wish you safe travels as you go across the country! – Chris, Team Member

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