On Sunday, March 8th, my grandfather suffered a massive stroke. Two days later, he passed away peacefully. Although I am saddened to have lost a grandparent, I am so glad I had this project to share with him during his last months on earth.
At his memorial service, many friends and family shared their favorite memories of my grandfather. It brought tears to my eyes getting to hear how he affected so many lives and stories about him – from his first few years in America to the kind of father/grandfather he was. One common theme in everyone’s sharing was the fact that my grandfather loved to talk. Prior to his stroke, family members shared how he would often call them on the phone and could talk for hours about anything and everything. He loved to offer advice – some sound and some not so sound 🙂 It made me realize how much he lost after his stroke – I’m sure he felt like a huge part of him was gone by not getting to speak. I was reminded of the hope and light a communication book can bring to someone’s life by providing the means for them to connect with others again. So though this project will have a different ending that I had originally anticipated, I plan to finish the communication book based on what I know my grandfather wanted included while blogging about the process here. After talking with Dr. Montgomery today about my revised project, I’m excited that the book will serve as a model for future clinicians and clients at Chapman University’s “Learning Lab” Adult Clinic. It’s always helpful to see a sample of what has been done, especially for spouses and family members who don’t have a background in this field but want to get involved in creating the book. My hope is that this project will have a lasting impact and positive contribution long after I graduate. So stay tuned!