“RELAT-Hos has helped me bear my pathologies and become a person who fights for his life”
What did you think when you had your first contact with the RELATO-Hos project? How did you discover it?
J.C.- From March 18 to June 17, 2019, I stayed on different floors of the hospital. I still remember that the 12th floor was where I stayed the longest, specifically in room 1218. There, I had a notebook where I would write down my impressions every day. The nurses and the nursing assistants realised it, as well as Dr. Imma Grau Garriga and her assistants. I think there was a lot of talk about my writing and I guess Mrs. Antonia Castro got wind of it. One day, she came and explained that the hospital was inviting patients to take part in Relat-Hos project.
Were you sure from the beginning that you wanted to participate?
J.C.- Well, I thought about it and told Mrs. Antonia that I would try. I took it as a challenge. I had never written a short story before, because my profession was something completely different.
Do you remember how you came to write Sueños que podrían ser reales?
J.C.- I immediately felt confident that I would have a flash of inspiration. That very night I had this dream, which I captured on some pages the next morning. Then I asked Mrs. Antonia to read it. She was that moved by I that she just looked at me with tears in her eyes. I wrote the story in Spanish not to make any mistakes. You know, I am 41 and in my childhood, we were allowed to use Catalan only at home! Anyway, everything was very fast, and I realised that the more I expressed my dream, the more I wanted to understand its somewhat sentimental ending.
According to your experience, do you think writing is a powerful therapeutic tool?
J.G.- I am positive about that now. I am very grateful for the opportunity RELAT-Hos has meant to me, because it has helped me bear my pathologies and become a person who fights for his life.
You have already mentioned that this was the first time you started to write a story, a narration created by you...
J.G.- Yes, indeed. I had not written anything of this kind before. When I retired in 2006, after having worked for almost 50 years, one day, I asked myself, ‘What now, Joan? What are you going to do? Are you going to go to the bars? Are you going to start playing petanque?’ At that point, I decided to find the answer to two very specific questions: ‘Where do you come from?’ and ‘Where are you going?’ That is how I spent three years doing research in the vicariates of different towns all over Alt Penedès region to find out about my roots. That was the first time I wrote a story. Now I am back in a nursing home where I am having some rehabilitation, and as apparently this situation will still last for a while, I have already read several books on the medieval stories of towns in the region. A few weeks ago, I got the will to start writing again and I already have written half a dozen small stories in RELAT-Hos format. Some of them I have already sent to Mrs. Antonia. I know I can write many more, because thank God, I have a good memory.
Finally, can you recommend a book to us?
When I pick up a book, if it catches my interest, I immediately take on the role of the protagonist and thus I laugh, cry ... and it makes me feel very good. I could recommend ‘La catedral del Mar’, for example, or ‘El hilo de la memoria’, by Isabel Berenguer. However, the books I enjoy the most are those studying the genealogy science. I have also started a draft of my memoirs, starting when I was four years old.