by Ildiko D.
Volker, 71 years old, born in Northern Germany. Lives with his wife in Ulm in a barrier-free apartment. Two children, two grandchildren.
In 2013 suffered a stroke, since then in a wheelchair. He is convinced: " You cannot run away from your fate"
There was a turning point in your life. How did it change your life?
When I had the stroke, I started to think a lot, about myself and my life, about the world in general. My first thought was that the dear God says you are going to have a stroke now, that you are going to come to consciousness and think about yourself. I felt it as a punishment in the beginning, until at some point I realized that God loves his children and it is not a punishment, and I started to pray.
Volker, how do you organize your everyday life?
After getting up I wash and straighten myself and then I drive a quarter of an hour Thera - Trainer, that is a therapeutic movement trainer. Four times a week I have therapy and still walk around the kitchen block at home on my own.
Was exercise important to you before?
Yes, I was crazy about sports! In summer I rode my bike a lot, played tennis for years, went to the gym. Many years ago, when I was still doing well, I took the Bodensee boat license, for sailing and motorboat driving. I also played golf.
I do Sudoku, I cultivate friendships. I visit day care groups and a group for MS patients, which gave me a lift. They are very nice people, you can have a good time. And I also like going out for dinner. I read a lot, almost one book a week. And I write a book myself, a biography under a different name. Originally the book was meant to be a guide for people with a stroke. I describe different life situations in the book, I already have a title: “Paul sharp, you can't run away from your fate “
You write your book on the computer - how do you deal with the new media beyond that?
I have a smartphone and an iPad. But I don't order anything on the Internet or google anything. I listen to the news on radio and television and read the newspaper.
You were born in Northern Germany, how did you come to Ulm?
My father changed jobs and we moved to Kaufbeuren in 1956. I grew up and went to school there. Then my father went to Munich again, that was in 1965/66, and we moved to Fürstenfeldbruck. There I did my training as a banker.
Did the family influence you or was it your decision?
No, that was my decision alone.
How has your life developed?
I changed professionally relatively quickly after my training. I applied elsewhere, spent 9 years with a bank in various management positions.
In 1982 I changed to Schwäbisch Hall. In 1985 I accepted a higher position and came to Ulm until my stroke in 2012.
Under what circumstances did the stroke occur? How did you fare during this time?
It was on our first day of vacation 26.10.2012 in Italy. I was taken to hospital in Italy, I don't remember that, I only woke up in Ulm at the RKU. Afterwards the usual rehabilitation measures followed.
Your work was important to you. But you also started a family. /You live together with your wife. How did they get to know each other?
Oh! That's a funny story.
Full of joy and with enthusiasm he tells how he and his then boyfriend from Switzerland went to Geislingen in spring 1970 to show him the area. In Gerhausen, in a dance coffee, he saw his future wife and danced with her.
He couldn't leave the young lady of that time upside down and drove more often after work from the Fürstenfeldbruch to Geislingen to meet her. In September of the same year they got married.
Are you iced up a lot? How were the meetings with foreigners?
Yes at least 3 times a year, a lot to Italy to play golf, to Austria to ski, to Spain and Greece. I earned well it was no problem. Professionally I have also been to the USA and England.
I have always had good experiences with non-Germans on vacation. It was never a problem, people everywhere were open-minded and in need of information. I also have the advantage that I am a very sociable person, I approach others and talk to them.
Do you fill yourself as a European?
I am a citizen of the world! It is not self-evident that we live here and are allowed to live here, we have our dear God to thank for this
Is there a political event that impressed you?
In the past I didn't care that much about politics, unfortunately I have to say. I have lived, I have worked to make us feel good, but politics was not really an issue for me.
If I could turn back time, I would probably get involved in politics, I would see that I could get on the local council, that I could somehow get involved and have a say in the decisions. And get socially involved.
I was impressed by September 11, 2001, it was on our wedding day. We came back from vacation, turned on the television and my first impression was that it was a film.
How do you see society today?
That many of us think too much about ourselves and less about the others and unfortunately we have to realize that people go through life more and more with elbows, sometimes recklessly.
Is social engagement important to you?
Yes. I have talked a lot with nurses and therapists. I was very impressed by the hard work of the nursing staff and I said to myself that I would one day found a better social institution. Since then I have been playing Eurojackpot every week. My vision is a house of encounter and health and a social fund a la "We for here" or "We for Ulm".
And what do you wish for yourself?
My wish is that I no longer need a wheelchair, that I become independent again.
And that I can go for a walk with my dog
Has religion played a role in your life, were you also religious in the past?
No, not in that sense, not even churchly. Only after the stroke.
If you met God, what would you tell him?
I talk to Jesus every evening after prayer. I thank him for accompanying me so far and ask him to continue doing so.
What would you say to the youth?
To acquire a good school connection and then learn a profession, if possible a social or craft one. Being diligent and honest is very important. And always try to think not only about yourself but also about other people and that not everything in life is taken for granted.
To which time of your life would you like to return?
I would like to turn 50 again, that was my successful time, both professionally and athletically. I hadn't done well at school, I got the hang of it later, but year after year I have become better and better and more sensible, but also more diligent and have earned well.
So money has already played a role?
Yes, at that time already. My social thinking came after the stroke. I wanted to travel through Germany with my wife in my retirement to get to know our country better, go to the south in winter, take a vacation apartment there.
Have your dreams come true? Which wishes do you still want to fulfill in your life?
Yes, I do. I wanted to go on a cruise, but unfortunately I never got around to it.
Do you regret certain decisions in life?
No. Not really.
Are you particularly proud of Voraus in your life?
That I have two good children. Of my family.
Do you fear death?
No, it's part of life.
Do you have a living will, a living will?
Yes, I made one right after my stroke. I didn't think of anything like this before.
What's your motto for life?
The day to live as it comes.