This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

oral history

I am trained as a spiritual director and a couple of people come to me regularly to talk about their journeys. One of those people, knowing that I also have experience with doing oral history, asked me if I would interview him and have him tell his life story so he could tape record it. He plans to edit the result for his grandkids. It is a long process--the last time we met we spent two hours covering less than 10 years of his life.

I'm thinking I should do the same with John. Our daughter talked about taping family stories last summer and he liked the idea, but she didn't have time and energy. It would be something of value to our kids to have and would give John and me something to do together.

It is hard for me to make that commitment to John. The voice is still so strong in my head saying "what about me?" What about all the other things I have to do? What about the kind of spiritual journey I wish I could share with him and he isn't interested in? (He says he wants to hear about my journey so long as I don't expect him to feel anything similar; I said it doesn't work that way when it is his disease.)

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