Silverado Hospice Volunteer Intern Shares Her Memory Catcher Experience
By Jessica Corona
The process of creating a memory catcher for a hospice patient was very rewarding. Since the beginning, I remember the patient's family welcoming us to their home. Once inside, we asked simple questions, and the patient said that he didn't have much to say, but once he began, it ran very smoothly. A patient may think they don’t have much to say, but I believe that they have experienced so much and gone through different times, and it’s really amazing to hear their stories. These memories are important to preserve and by providing these memories catchers, their stories could get carried down for year to come. Their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren could get to keep that memory as a remembrance of their grandfather. This way future grandchildren can learn more about their family history.
I was not very fond of history in school, but hearing it from someone that experienced it first-hand, I found myself more and more interested in Mr. Young’s story. We made a separate recording about Mr. Young’s veteran experience in the Navy. I learned about his tough training, what he did for fun and about his duties as an aviation electrician’s mate. What I found most interesting was how he would have to crank the airplane to get it started.
Once the interview process was done and the memory catcher was completed, I had the privilege to take the finish product to the patient and his wife. They welcomed me to their home once again, and asked me to join them in the living room. Their granddaughter happened to be there, and I explained to her what the project was about. She thought the memory catchers program was a great idea because she didn't know a lot about her grandfather’s veteran experience, so she seemed excited to see this video. They discussed of possibly having a family reunion, so they can all see the memory catcher together. I was glad to hear that because that is what a memory catcher is all about. I really enjoyed being part of such a personal and unique experience.