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A Very Special Court: The Legacy of Love and Healing Through Pickleball

Published: 2024-04-03
A Very Special Court: The Legacy of Love and Healing Through Pickleball
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Hello, I'm Carolyn Glickstein. I want to share with you a profoundly personal journey of loss, healing, and unexpected community that has unfolded on a very special pickleball court in Miami. This isn't just any court; it's a sanctuary that has become a cornerstone of my healing process after the heart-wrenching loss of my beloved son, Michael Aaron Glickstein, three years ago.


Michael's Obituary


Following Michael's passing, I found myself enveloped in an immeasurable grief that made the simplest tasks seem insurmountable. It was during this time that I discovered pickleball, a sport I had never engaged in before. I began playing every single day, braving the cold with strangers who soon became friends. This routine became my salvation, the reason I found the strength to get out of bed each morning.


I shared my story and the life-changing impact of pickleball here.


My connection to Miami is a deep one, tied to the memories of my son. Michael owned a condo here, a place that holds both cherished memories and the pain of his untimely departure. On my visit after Michael’s death, I noticed a spacious area within our building complex that seemed perfect for a pickleball court. With a mixture of hope and determination, I proposed the idea to the management. To my surprise and gratitude, they embraced it wholeheartedly. In a touching tribute, they agreed to name the court in memory of Michael.



The process of bringing this court to life was swift and filled with poignant moments, particularly with Ezra Martinez, our building manager, who had a personal connection to the tragic loss of my son. Within three weeks, the court was ready, complete with lines, nets, and paddles, inviting anyone with a desire to play.


This pickleball court has become more than just a place for sport; it is a living memorial for Michael, a space where joy, health, and community flourish. I spend my days in Miami teaching and playing with residents of our building, many of whom are vibrant young people who remind me so much of Michael. With each game, I feel a connection to my son, believing that he would have loved this place and the community it fosters.


Pickleball players



Sometimes, I share Michael's story with those who come to play, and other times, I let the joy of the game speak for itself. The court has become a conduit for healing, not just for me but for everyone who sets foot on it. It's a place where we can all find a moment of escape, clarity, and peace in our fast-paced lives.


As I reflect on the past three years, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this unexpected journey. The pickleball court, in honor of Michael, has given me a purpose and a community in a place that holds so many complex emotions. It's a testament to how sports can transcend mere physical activity, becoming a powerful medium for healing, connection, and legacy.


To everyone who has joined me on this court, thank you for being part of this healing journey. And to my dear son, Michael, your spirit lives on in every game played, in every laugh shared, and in the bonds formed on this very special court.



To my beloved son, Michael Aaron Glickstein