“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.”
I know that Vernon has a way to communicate ‘Yes‘ to me, but we still haven’t figured out the ‘No.’ I imagine it’s pretty frustrating for him to only be able to actively answer in the affirmative. We have tried blinking and hand squeezing: once for yes, twice for no (a la the book/film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.)
But we still aren’t reading each other enough to have more than a one-sided conversation. I talk so fast with so much energy and hope, and Vernon is still moving a few notches below his normal mellow self. Today when I first went in, he was trying to move his mouth to speak but I couldn’t understand. Hopefully speech therapy is just around the corner, or who knows? One of these days he may just start chatting—it’s been known to happen.
When I mentioned, “What if you try to write things down?” his face lit up. His eyes widened and an obvious brightening came over him. So I tracked down a clipboard, some paper, and a dry-erase marker that seemed like it would be easy to hold.
A little trickier than I’d anticipated, what with his finger-sensor. But the nurse came in to take it off and he did a little better.
Here is a video of one of his tries. He really was game for this…we worked for about an hour straight, which is a long time for a semi-comatose guy. He didn’t get far, but I could see he was responding with a real memory of (and maybe even a devotion to) writing or drawing.
Ultimately, he found the pencil to be the most comfortable…I think I’ll start with (that or a slimmer pen) next time.
Here are a few of Vernon’s results. I’m thinking of hanging them on the refrigerator door.
Actually, here is a funny story: on my way out, I showed these drawings off to the head nurse, as I crossed her path.
“Look!” I squealed, “Arent’ these great?”
She kind of smiled and nodded and said, “Oh yes. How old?”
I looked at her in disbelief. “Um…47.”
I’m not sure I’d be so braggy if these were from a two year old. Ahhhh…perspective.
10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer by Brian Clark:
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
I think he there might be something to that. We will try again tomorrow.