As a Facilitator, I have been present for a number of conversations with people experiencing memory loss as part of the StoryCorps Memory Loss Initiative. Sometimes these conversations are an opportunity for the person with memory loss to share his or her stories, but it is not always so straightforward. In one conversation, a son and his father sat with their sensational mother and wife, whose stroke had left her unable to speak more than a few words. She listened to her husband recount their four year courtship through letters while he served in World War II.
Her son also remembered her devotion to her children and the love for theater she instilled in him. She was quiet and unresponsive during the interview but dazzled everyone near the end with a smile and the words, “Them were the days.” While her voice barely registers on the recording, she is present in the voices of loved ones as they narrate her story. (more…)
On Tuesday, June 24, StoryCorps facilitators Martha O’Brien and Cindy Murphy recorded local stories at the Alzheimer’s Association Mid South Chapter in Nashville, Tennessee as part of StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative.
Each interview consisted of a participant interviewing his or her aging loved one. These storytellers shared a miscellany of compelling and emotive memories, including a childhood spent in China, “Sunday Night Suppers” with family, Gone with the Wind, and the Korean War.
It was a pleasure to be a part of preserving these conversations, all of which will no doubt grow more precious with time.
Kemba Bloodworth and Jenna Weiss-Berman were welcomed to the Alzheimer’s Association of the Carolinas. The staff provided them with an ideal, quiet place for recording conversations and databasing. Check out our nifty “quiet” signs.
Recently facilitators, Nzingha Garner and Michelle Swinehart visited North Carolina on behalf of the StoryCorps Memory Loss Initiative. All in all, we had the pleasure of recording stories at three unique organizations in Raleigh, Durham, and Asheville. Each day provided us glimpses into the true nature of hospitality, the kind that keeps everyone coming back for more.
At the Eastern North Carolina Chapter participants arrived hours early to chat with their support group leaders, Peggy Smith and DeeDee Harris (pictured above). There was so much laughter, we barely stayed on schedule. The next day, family members traveled hours to be present for their loved one’s interview at Duke University’s Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (pictured above). Last but not least, Memory Care provided us with the same loving care they deliver to their patients (staff pictured above). Thanks to everyone who participated in one way or another.