I knew this day would come, but still thought it was a long way off. Today I was to interview my friend’s mom, an Ojibwa Elder from Michigan. I’d scheduled a week ahead of time, so we were all set to go. This morning, she was admitted to the hospital with kidney failure. It’s serious enough for the family to be called in from around the state.
It saddens me to think that some of the people who have signed up to be interviewed may not get the chance. It is a hard but true reality, harder for their families who may miss out on this recording of their history and certainly on their presence in their lives. It is also a confirmation of the importance of this project.
The number one mission of Untold Stories is to preserve our history for the coming generations who will have next to no context for understanding what life was like before the ‘tech revolution’. I know some of what it was like, as do many of the older generations, but we will never be able to explain with the context a member of the Silent Generation can. For example, an overwhelming amount of my interviewees grew up without a family car, something inconceivable to most of today’s youth.
My thoughts are with my friend’s mother. I hope yours will be, too. She has acted as the anchor for the family, and has an amazing story to tell. With luck, this will be but a scare, and we’ll be honored to share in her story soon.