Sharing your life story—a priceless gift

“Ya, Billy I want you to know about my wonderful life forever “

by Lori Harasta

Your experiences and memories are unique. The greatest gift you can give your family is to record yours.

Jeff McElderry of Leisure Village decided to meet with one of the Camarillo Hospice-trained Life Story Volunteers and capture some of his favorite memories onto two CDs for his family, which includes five sons and eight grandchildren.  “My wife Esther and I heard about this program at the Leisure Village Health Fair and decided to give it a try.”

Camarillo Hospice volunteers are trained in conducting personal interviews and recording life stories, and they help create a truly special and lasting gift.  Recording sessions can take place in the comfort of one’s home, and when they are concluded, the client receives a professionally produced CD of his or her life story to share with family and friends.

Gerry Olsen recorded his life story with the assistance of Mark Rose, Camarillo Hospice Volunteer:  “I wanted to tell all my stories while I still remember them!”  Gerry and Mark met over a three-month period to record many stories of Gerry’s youth and early Camarillo days.  “It was a lot of fun, and Mark was very patient with me,” stated Gerry.

The Life Story Program is available to all members of the community, regardless of age or health needs. It is a free-of-charge service of Camarillo Hospice, a program of Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association.

In the words of one volunteer, “It is an amazing privilege to interview and record people’s stories. I’m certain that I get as much from it as they do! First of all I get a new friend. Secondly, I have been able to experience fascinating snapshots of history and ordinary life through the stories.”

For more information, or to schedule an interview, call 389-6870 ext. 12.

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