Today is the fourth anniversary of the passing of my grandmother, Marcia Luey Hakala due to complications of Parkinson’s Disease. Grandma brought eight children into the world and was the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren. The nursing home where she resided prior to her passing always knew what was happening with Marcia’s kids and grandkids because she loved to brag on us.
Marcia is the reason the Parkinson’s Comfort Project got started. For the last three years of Marcia’s life her daughter, our founder Sonja Hakala, made quilts for her. As her Parkinson’s progressed, it became harder and harder for Marcia to move in her bed under the weight of the bed quilts. Her last quilt request was for a smaller one. Sonja made her mother a lap quilt, about two feet by three feet, that became the forerunner of the Parkinson’s Comfort Quilts we now distribute.
My grandmother loved flowers almost as much as she loved her children and grandchildren. One of her favorites were sunflowers. I suppose it is fitting that she passed during the time they are in bloom. My wife makes sure she plants sunflowers every year for me so that Grandma is always close by.
I am thankful for the years I had with my grandmother and for her spirit which continues on for me through our efforts here at the Parkinson’s Comfort Project.
Rest in peace Grandma, I love you!