My family gave me a portable tape recorder and camera when I was ten, because I begged them. I had already declared I wanted to be a nurse so they thought my interest in journalism would fade. They watched as I carefully tended injured rabbits and birds. When I insisted on proper burial for each one who didn’t survive, they followed me under a bridge on a narrow gravel road to attend the ceremony.
I became a nurse, but I did not lose interest capturing stories. During my career, I worked in specialty areas (psychiatry, hospice, geriatrics) where understanding a patient’s history/story was important to understanding illness and health. I also had the good fortune to volunteer at a refugee camp (Ghana), caring for survivors of hurricanes Katrina (Houston) and Maira (Puerto Rico), a women’s shelter and documenting social justice events.
When I experienced significant losses in my life (my father and sister both died of cancer in 1999), the need to embrace death and record stories became even more clear and valuable to me.
I hung up my nursing badge a few years ago to embrace my new role as grandmother. I don’t plan to ever retire my recording devices and enjoy all the ways my grand-daughters and I connect around storytelling/story capturing.
This site is dedicated to all who have allowed me to be part of their journey—family, friends, patients, strangers, animals. I hold our experiences as sacred; sharing them is a way to pass along the ancestral wisdom that remains.