The UCLA 3 Wishes program is a palliative care initiative in which doctors and nurses elicit and implement final wishes for patients who are imminently dying. They also do things to provide comfort to surviving family members.
I recently reached out to the program, for which I am a donor, to let them know that I can make keepsake items for them to give to families if they like. I have done 2 projects for them the past couple of weeks. The first was 4 wall hangings cut from acrylic, a bookmark and an engraved ceramic tile made into a photoholder. The second was 3 cutting boards.
For each project, the program simply tells me the person’s first name or initials, what the deceased liked, etc. and leaves it to me to figure out to make and what it would look like. Joy for me comes for designing something meaningful, and always a surprise from UCLA for those people I will never meet.
The first project was for a person named Priscilla who liked hearts and starfish. The second was for a man who loved his family, country, BBQ grill, running and the Dallas Cowboys. I was successfully able to paint the cutting boards with food coloring so it’s food safe and they can actually be used if desired. The runner is formed from word art with a dozen words that describe his likes. I also engraved a blue (his favorite color) dog tag for the wife; he was an army reservist. It was a lot of fun to make.
And now, awaiting the next project, although with sadness because that means someone else has passed away in the ICU.