This month is the Third Anniversary of my book
” Finding My Voice With Aphasia”.
I want to thank everyone for their support, encouragement, and help in writing this book, especially the wonderful staff
at the York Harbor Inn I could not have written it without them.
He stood 6 feet 6 inches tall but was a gentle man. He came from Ireland in the 1940’s yet he fought for the United States during the war. He married and had ten children. He worked hard, ten to fourteen hours a day to feed his family and to put his children through school and college. Yet, he never complained “No one would listen anyway” he would say. “You do what you have to do and that’s all you can do” was his favorite expression. He was married over sixty years to a woman with a heart of gold and the strength to bring up their ten children together. Through the years he worked long hours and he and his wife watched his children grow and marry. Their home was filled with happiness and love. Suddenly it all came to a stop – the gentle giant had a massive stroke on his left side. Therapy was extensive and gave him hope. When another stroke survivor called him, his response was ‘welcome to the club girl and don’t let it get you down just work hard and never give up.’ As the years passed he became weaker. We lost the gentle, hard working father and friend this week after a nine-year struggle with his stroke. He was 93 years old and fought everyday to salvage his body from his stroke.
‘ just work hard and never give up.’
A close friend’s brother had a stroke several weeks ago (he is unable to speak and is beyond frustrated), she noticed that I move my hand when I speak and I explained the purpose. Today she wrote me the following: “I tried to get the idea across about speaking a syllable with every stroke of the pen on paper, but we just ended up giggling, but when I flipped the page, he didn’t want me to help him and he wrote his 1st word, clear as can be:
l o v e
We hugged and he went on to write 3 more words that didn’t spell anything, then before I left after my niece and sister returned, they said I think he wants to write again, so I flipped the page and he wrote once again:
l o v e
I was on cloud 9 all the way home ! I believed in him and the power of prayer, and felt that with hard work and
determination he would be able to speak again. This word on paper, spoke loudly to me, that love will get him through.
I thanked God that I met you and heard your story, then bought your book. It has been the most helpful tool for us and worth all of your work in the writing it. I will try to get some time again with him later this week and will put that pen back in his hand. Thanks again for your insight into the effects on the mind and body of a stroke patient.”
The purpose of the book was to hear the success of stroke survivors. My story made the three years of writing my book very moving and special for me.