“Bernie, we’d like to make a gift of that swing set, to your park, in your name.” he said…
You see, I want to leave something behind. And I want it to be something people could play on or with or in, or could just watch people playing with or in. And I want it to be in the local park where I spent so many happy hours learning to appreciate my community – Indy Parks’ Ellenberger Park.
And all of a sudden, it comes back to me – something I remember writing, about a year ago – something called the “Expression Swing.”
And I have to tell you, I got most definitely, genuinely and thoroughly excited. And, well, I need your help in transforming this playful excitement into a lasting invitation to the playful path.
This swing is exactly the kind of swing I would most like to be remembered with: a swing where parent and child would swing together, facing each other, reflecting, echoing, magnifying each other’s delight – the parent freed from having to push the child, freed to swing with the child, both freed to share the joy. And anyone watching equally freed to be share in the intimately playful connection.
Source: [Expression Swing Photography of the GameTime Smithville District Park Playground in Southport, NC. Charlotte Photographer – PatrickSchneiderPhoto.com]
So I called the company. And I explained: cancer…a gift for my local park…a symbol…a taste of the very kind of loving fun I managed to devote my entire life to teaching…the Expression Swing, a veritable cradle for the actual experience of fun of the “loving” kind between parent and child.
And the next day Tom Norquist, himself, senior vice-president corporate innovation of Gametime, and inventor of the Expression Swing itself, calls and says: “Bernie, we’d like to make a gift of that swing set, to your park, in your name.” Not just one swing, but two, complete with the strongest, coolest-looking swing-hanging thing.
Am I speechless?
See, it turns out that they need about an additional maybe $4500 (that’s four thousands and five hundreds of American dollars) to install the swing.
Oh! Install. But of course.
And, oh!, you may think, financially-speaking, how relatively unfortunate.
And then along comes along the “Indianapolis Parks Foundation” whose almost sole purpose is to support projects of this very same, or closely related ilk. And they, this very foundation, decided to set-up a fund just for this project.
Which brings me to ask: how would you like to help bring this very swing set to my loved and local park? How would you like to help me continue to champion parent-child joy and play, the shared kind, even after I am gone? How would you like that?