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16 October 2014

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To know someone

By Nicole Lavergne-Smith
March 2007, Cardiff
A digital story from Capture Wales

"You can't choose when you get the chance to know someone.

When I knew my gran, my cousins and I were amazed by the way she could blow cigarette smoke out of her ears. We were fascinated by how she could remember the names of all the plants in the world and even remember the names of all the weeds. She was magical!

We used to sit on her living room couch, all of the pillow covers she had knitted, and the house smelled of hokey-pokey cookies and settled like only a gran's house can.

She'd print out a sheet from the computer with rows of dots on it and we would connect one dot to another with really sharp pencils, trying not to draw a box. She looked after us just liked she looked after my dad and my uncle I suppose.

She slowly lost her memory and could no longer remember what happened the day before. Partly because of her practical approach to things and partly because she was afraid of losing her mind, she would write everything down. Her scientific training served her well.

As my brother and I stood at each side of her bed, about 12 hours before she died, not knowing what to say or do, my Gran reached out and took in each of her hands one of ours. She remembered that she loved us and we knew that we loved her.

It doesn't matter when I had the chance to know my gran or even what I remember in the end. All that matters is that once, I did."

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am from flat and vibrant Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and I love all that is creative. I am just finishing an MA in International Journalism and hope to have many more stories to tell in many different ways.

What's your story about?
My story is about my Gran and about her memory loss from my perspective. I was profoundly affected by her death a few years ago and had the desire to tell a story about her.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
I am so happy I discovered the power of digital storytelling!

Your comments

"This reminds me vividly of a much-loved cousin and friend." Des from South Shields.

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