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My Mother’s Eternal Image


It was then that I realized I could help others have what I had. I’d worked for an oral history library for a few years, and had been immediately drawn in by the powerful, complex stories of peoples’ lives. More recently, I’d been a producer and casting director in the film and television industry, helping to create TV shows, short films, and documentaries. The combination of these experiences seemed to converge, and it was clear that my life’s paths had literally led me to this moment.

Inspired by the discovery of my mother’s taped interview, I decided to devote the rest of my days to helping others have what I have – a living, vivid memoir – for themselves, their children, their grandchildren, and all the generations that will follow.

With the knowledge I’ve gained, I tell as many people as I can about how, with the aid of today’s digital technology, creating a legacy for their families is not only simple, but almost imperative. I speak publicly about what a video memoir is, and also teach people how they themselves can record their loved ones’ memories.

Most important, I encourage them not to wait – not to keep postponing preserving these stories, but to do it before the opportunity is lost. A couple of hours’ effort can become a long-lasting family treasure.

I hope my sons will show my mother’s interview to their own children, so that they can spend some time getting to know their courageous great-grandmother, who was brimming with life and love throughout her days… and beyond.

About the Author: Risa Neuwirth lives in Brooklyn with her two sons. She is the founder of LifeStory Productions (www.LifeStoryProductions.com), a video biography company based in New York City.


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“To this day, every Friday night I bless candles in memory of my mother, and there isn’t one Friday night that I don’t see her in my mind, blessing our candles at home…”

My gaze is riveted to the television screen as I watch my mother speaking. She begins weeping quietly, remembering the large family she lost in the Holocaust.

“I had a beautiful childhood, a warm, close-knit, loving family, and I think it’s what sustained me through everything.”

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