Mary* is 82 years old. Healthy, active, still going to work every day. But she's keenly aware that time slips by and can catch us unprepared and unready to say goodbye.
So over the course of a couple of days, and 2-3 hours of interview, we navigated our way through the things that needed to be said. This is going to be Mary's Christmas gift to her children and grandchildren this year.
What makes Mary's oral memoir different from others is that instead of focusing on the stories of her life, we zeroed in on the values, principles, and beliefs that shaped the stories. This is what some people call an "Ethical Will," the values not the valuables. When you share with your loved ones who you are from the inside out, giving them something real and lasting about who you are and what you believe — to hang on to.
At the end of the first session, Mary stood up and touched her shoulders with the palms of her hands, "I feel lighter," she said. And she looked relieved. Finally, her feelings and thoughts were taking shape, turning into something tangible with every recorded minute ... something that she would be able to pass on to current and future generations of her family.
I felt good, too, knowing that we were getting there ... one question at a time.