On a lazy November day in 2014, I made my way out to Hemet California to visit my abuelita. She was the only reason I would travel to that little town, rooted in the Southern California desert. The visit was a surprise (as all my visits were) and she was overjoyed to see me. I can remember her embrace; warm, frail, and passionate. The visits always filled me with a strange mixture of happiness and sorrow. This woman that had so much love for her family was living so far from everyone she knew. Aunts, Uncles, and cousins all pleaded for her to come to the city but she never could find the strength to move from the place she called home.
This visit was not simply an act of kindness, but one with a mission. I cam prepared with my camera's, tripod's, and lists ready to dive into my grandmother's fresh and attentive mind. I was excited and she was pleasantly willing to answer any of my questions. Within minutes I was set-up and ready to capture her on video.
She spoke on camera to me for no less than an hour, digging into her past, commenting on the present, and wishing into the future. My grandmother, who I previously understood as simply a pizza chef and jokester showed me a side of her I had never seen before. The camera and I both sat still and wide-eyed as she told me lessons only learned in eighty plus years of life. It was wonderful and I could never have expected the wisdom offered to me.
After our talk, a quick dinner, and more reminiscing upon the past I finally said goodbye and made the long drive home. Like after a hearty meal, my heart felt pleased with the mutual joy I was able to share with my abuelita.
Two months after I filmed my grandmother laughing about her past, she had an aneurysm leak in her stomach and she passed away within days. Her passing was quick and unexpected. She never had the chance to see the video after I shot it of her.
Today this video is here for you to watch. Though my grandmother never saw it, I believe she would be pleased with it. The trailer I clipped together is a small piece to the larger interview which I now have for myself and the future generations of my family.
My grandmother is gone now, but she is not forgotten. I love her so very much, and I'm beyond glad that I have her voice, smile, and wisdom saved on film.
This is the reason I do what I do. This is the reason My Spoken Story is my passion. The love we share with those who pass will never fade, and now neither will there memory.
Abuelita Nadia Sokolowski
Ken Martin, Nothing Forgotten
Ken Martin has built his life one triumph at a time. Looking through family photo's and remastering captured pictures of his was a treat. His love for his wife Barbara is unparalleled and unquestionable. As far as Ken and Barbara know, they are both still 21. Traveling, family, love, and Christ are the four corners of their lives and they don't plan on changing that, no matter how many candles are on their birthday cakes. Ken is a deep well of wisdom and is very able to share to those willing to listen. Seeing his smile when he viewed this video was worth the time and energy invested.
Barbara Martin, Nothing Forgotten
With a family tree going back to the Revolutionary War, Barbara had a world of history to share. It was a wonderful time reminiscing about past days and pondering the future. Barbara's love for family, country, and Christ were clear through out our entire conversation. Recently Barbara became a great grandmother to a second great grandchild. My Spoken Story is overjoyed knowing Barbara's character will live on for her great grandchildren and her oral history will forever be secured.
Elizaveta Blushtein, Silent Story
Elizaveta Blushtein (or Babushka Lisa for anyone who knew her) was a living, breathing, manifestation of Proverbs 31. Born into the Soviet Union, she went through Communist persecution, religious struggles, and a fight for survival within America. She is MySpokenStory's first SilentStory. The day Babushka Lisa was supposed to be recorded, she passed. An hour before the interview time, Lisa quietly passed from this life, taking with her over eight decades of memories. Though difficult as it was to have missed this precious opportunity, this SilentStory was created. A visual presentation, documenting her touch upon all those she loved. At the end of this video, we're blessed with a recording of Liza singing on Mother's Day 2002. The song describes a mother's prayer to her son to flee from anger and turn to Christ: a message she undoubtedly wanted for all to remember. Though deeply missed, her family is calmed knowing she is in a much better place.
Babushka Lisa's Silent Story
Mariam Blushtein: 90th Birthday
Mariam Blushtein's 90th Birthday Video
This project was made for Mariam as a small gift for a momentous day. Ninety years is a wonderful achievement and My Spoken Story created this using a small excerpt from her 89th birthday as well as a few photo's of Mariam's life. Her statement at the end is, "Thank you. Thank you to all my friends". This is an embodiment of Mariam's personality and life. Gratitude, humility, and hard work are written into every chapter of her ninety page book and we are blessed to have made this little gift. For any questions or comments concerning this video, or any other video's you may be interested in, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
No matter how many candles he added to his birthday cake, Oleg Blushtein was a young man at heart. Born in the far east of the former Soviet Union, he lived 84 adventurous years. His stories cross country lines, language barriers, and fill the heart with joy. Coming from a family of eight, he was one of a kind. Coming into his home, you came into his family. Joining in a fishing trip meant joining his family. God and family were all that mattered to him. A man that stored his treasure above, he was quick to open a bible and share his salvation with anyone who listened. He survives, not only in this recording, but in every smile he planted in our hearts.
My Spoken Love Story: Michelle and Marc
Michelle and Marc are two of the most wonderful people you will meet. Passion for their community is only eclipsed by their love for each other. Speaking to them about their final vision for the Spoken Love Story, it was clear that the focus was not for themselves, but for their guests. As we began recording, we realized the story wasn't complete without a very important member: Marc's daughter Olivia. With Olivia's help, many hours of editing and re-editing, My Spoken Story was able to offer a product we are proud of. Marc and Michelle had their touch in every piece of this, and its clear from all the love you feel. We are beyond excited to come back to them in one year and re-record their growth and newly found wisdom with one another.
Marc and Michelle's Love Story
Home videos, personal recordings, and My Spoken Love Story conversations all went into this beautiful display of family and affection.
If you've ever watched television, you have been influenced in one way, shape, or form, by Bob Carroll. With well over 500 students in the lighting industry Bob has helped transform the viewing experience in ways many of us take for granted. A man who built his career upon a passion, his story is both fascinating and inspiring. From his earliest years he swam against the current with a clear definition of what he wants out of life: lights! The ability to sway and move a person's heart with rays and shadows made Bob a master of his trade. Riches, fame, and accreditation never persued, Bob worked humbly at his trade and loved every moment of it. A clear example of his humility can be seen in his extensive career as a professor at Pasadena College. Thirty years of retirement hasn't made Bob forget the joy he felt when watching kids become professional adults in the industry he helped grow. This video is a wonderful example of always following what you believe in and never giving up on your life's calling.
Haim Harry Jakobovich
If there is one thing you wish to grieve today, grieve never meeting Haim Harry Jakobovich in person. A man with many titles, Haim lived life more in 47 years than most do in 100. Through every chapter in life, whether it be soldier, son, or family man, he was rarely seen without his shining smile. Passion was stitched into his thirst for life and the legacy of love he left speaks to this. Though gone, he will always stay close to the hearts of those who knew him well.