Spectacular letter from one of the veteran's family members of one of the veterans I photographed. Letters like this remind me how much I enjoy doing this project:
My name is Amy K. and my grandfather resides at Belmont Village in Sunnyvale. I wanted to take a moment to send you a note of gratitude for taking such a beautiful photo of my grandfather and all the residents. It truly means the world to me to have someone honor my grandfather with such a dignified photo recognizing some of his accomplishments in his life. I choked up the moment I realized he had been included.
The last year of my grandfather's life have been filled with tragedy and loss. He lost my grandmother in October, 2014 and right before that he lost his ability to speak due to a stroke. Most recently he has lost his ability to walk independently. Due to his needs so much of his dignity has been taken from him.
Whenever he has been in the hospital or he is with caregivers and I am by his side I try to share a little about my grandfather - that he was a graduate from MIT, he was an aeronautical engineer, and he put some of the earliest satellites into space to spy on the Russians. Though he can't share these details himself, he always smiles when I tell others.
Without taking too much of your time, I could go on and on. I just wanted to send a heartfelt thank you for taking the time to capture pictures of my grandfather and so many beautiful men and women. Our elderly are lost and forgotten so often, but you truly captured their grace and beauty in your photos.
I am filled with heartache and sadness most of the time when I visualize or think about my grandfather's situation and his life right now. But since seeing your photograph of him, now when I see him in my mind, I see the man I want to remember for the years to come.
Thank you so very much for giving me this gift.