Norman – the Karate Kid

Mar 10, 2016


Norman Baird was a resident at Winslow Gardens for the past five years.  His wife, Jane, lived in the adjacent Linn Health Care Center, and that is one of the reasons he chose to live nearby.  After he lost his license to drive, living next door to Jane made their daily visits possible.  They were devoted to each other, saying goodnight and “I love you” by phone each night before bed.   Sadly, Jane passed away in 2014 and Norman continued on for another year, until making his departure from this world this past January.

I had the pleasure of many interactions with Norman over the past two years.  He was always so pleasant and cheerful.  He would participate in the men’s breakfasts and the weekly exercise classes, lifting the hand weights and kicking from his wheelchair.  What a trooper!

As I got to know Norman better, I discovered that he had quite a few interesting hobbies over the years to include building ships inside bottles and had even been in a car race!  But I think that Norman’s most impressive hobby was taking karate lessons in his senior years.  With Norman’s physical limitations and advanced years, he was a remarkable karateka with a true “fighter’s spirit”.  And isn’t that what the martial arts is all about?  Fighting our own limitations with persistence and earnestness.   Watch the video of Norman talking about his karate hobby, synched with footage from his karate days!

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