Valentines Story: February 14, 2020
As I look back on the many seasons of my life, I realize it’s who and what I loved that carried me through years of single parenting and onward as I pursued doing what I LOVED.
As a young mother in my early 20’s, I set out on a course that would require a lot from me. I needed to find ways to give my sons, who I LOVED, a good life. I pursued an education while working full time to become a Health Educator . While getting the degree, I managed group homes and lived rent free in an apartment above one of them with deaf women residents. My sons and I learned some American Sign Language especially “pass the salad” at dinner.
Early each morning, my sons and I would ride our bikes. After dropping them off at school I’d head to either a class or to the office for a meeting. I took a lot of biological science classes that required labs and more study than humanities courses but I found that I LOVED science.
Although science is not finite and is ever expanding as more technology and research develops, it has been a foundation I’ve used to sort through alternative facts and far- out theories. But I also LOVE some theories that are beyond the scope of scientific facts.
My path in life was a twisty one. I had an early career in group home management before my degree to stepping up as a certified Health Educator and Wellness Director. During those early years of raising my sons, working and going to school full time I was also a photo journalist with a passion for featuring un-sung heroes and finding and telling stories with LOVE.
One project I LOVED was a multi-media presentation that I produced, highlighting the senior citizens in the county . I decided I could help the senior center raise the money they needed to buy a handi-cap van by featuring seniors in my photo-journalism, that was often placed on the front page of Sunday’s papers. There was so much interest in these stories that I used the slides synched with interviews and music.
The production included a song and dance act provided by a once vaudeville performer who dolled up in her old costume that included a boa and hat. She LOVED getting the chance to play the piano and sing like she had as a young, lovely woman. A gentleman who had just turned 103 sang “When I was Twenty One , I never had very much money but I had lots of fun. “ A basque man showed me some folk dances from the old country and spoke proudly about how his work ethic had helped him become very successful after immigrating to the U. S. A Japanese couple who spoke very little English had their kids come to interpret their story from immigration through Japanese Internment camps to supporting their family through growing potatoes. I LOVED these stories and I LOVED knowing the lives of these precious people who made it through thick and thin.
This slide presentation showed every Friday for three months at the senior center. People came to see it from all over the state, giving more than the price of a ticket. In the end — to my joy – enough money was raised to buy the van. And here I am, again, highlighting the lives of seniors through Life Story Videos.
Most of our lives are filled with hurdles, heartaches, injustice, hard work, hard luck , some successes and some happiness, but it is LOVE that grounds us – helps us soar and be all that we can be. I LOVE hearing their stories and LOVE being able to encapsulate their lives in a video story.
As I write this from my upstairs perch, I see many trees and an ever -changing sky. I LOVE nature and it’s creatures and if I’m having a down day – Nature is my tonic.