Monday, April 19, 2010

Video Biographies: Four generations of women. One family.

Enthusiasm is contagious. Which is why by the time I concluded my most recent video biography interview with the most amazing 80-something-year-old woman, I felt motivated to seize the day. Have adventures. Wear crazy wigs that flew off when I threw my head back, laughing at a casino in Vegas(!?). With the ultimate goal of turning into a fiesty old woman when my time comes... because really, they're the best kind!

This particular video took a year in the making. Or more accurately, the gift certificate for the package had been acquired a year ago, but it took until last week to convince 'grandma' that she deserved to be in front of the camera, regaling everyone with the crazy stories she had accumulated over a lifetime.

Hearing about the tricks and ambushes involved in rallying grandma to the venue for the interview made me picture a woman who was quiet, kept to herself, and didn't speak much. I couldn't have been more wrong. The minute I stepped through their front door, I could hear her laugh from three rooms away! When I met her, she graciously offered me her hand but by the time I left, she enveloped me in a motherly hug goodbye. Her voice was loud and got your attention. And she was telling me her stories even before the camera was set up. In fact, she even asked me for mine.

Just like I had formed an image of her in my head, she said she had one of me... a 50-year-old, jolly woman of significantly different proportions than those that I displayed... but I think she decided to like me anyway. Because when the interview did begin, she was perfect. Charismatic. Articulate. Candid. And oh so forthcoming. And honest. It takes courage to revisit parts of our lives, and say it how it is - and she was up to that challenge. In fact, when the interview ended and her lovely daughter entered the room, she was surprised by some of the things that came up. And perhaps, more surprised that her mother had called things the way they were.

Present on the day of the interview were four generations of women from the same family. Grandma and her daughter. Grandma's grand-daughter. And great-granddaughter. The oldest being 80+. The youngest 6. And it was obvious to anyone who knew them (even if only for one afternoon), that there existed between them a wonderful bond of love, respect, spontaneity, enthusiasm, and innocent wonder... ingredients perhaps for a good life?


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