Marie Shines for the Premiere of Her Life Review Video

by Denise CarsonMarieInterview

At 102 years old, Marie Lasher dresses for the premiere of her life story in a small movie theater near her Laguna Hills, California home. Shannon Sirovy, Director of Volunteer Services of Hospice Care of the West, accompanies Marie in a wheelchair into the elevator. As they enter the elevator, they see posters of Marie on the wall inviting the community to her movie. Yvette Aiello, the volunteer editor of Marie’s life review video, joins them.

“Look Marie, you’re famous,” Shannon says.

“Well, Marie says beaming. “I’ll only sign autographs, no checks.”

As they enter the movie theater, Marie receives a red carpet welcome.

Friends surround her from the community she has lived in for three decades. As she basks in a wave of embraces and endearments from friends, she shines like a star in the spotlight. Wafts of fresh popcorn fill the theater as the guests sit take their seats. The theater is full.

As the lights of the theater dim, Marie shows up on screen. And she watches herself on the silver screen retrace her life’s footsteps, stories and lessons that began in Ohio when she was born. Marie shares her personal history and journey that led to the life review interview video recorded by Shannon just a few weeks before.

On that memorable afternoon shortly after Marie entered hospice care, her bedroom was transformed into what appears to be the dressing room of a movie star. As Shannon conducts the interview, Marie’s son Lewis calls from Denver, Colorado.

Her son tells Marie he wants “a copy of everything.” Which is the entire motivation behind the lovely life review videos put together by the volunteer services at Hospice Care of the West. A gift given to the hospice patients and their families, each life review interview retraces the footsteps of a person’s life from birth to childhood, young adulthood to falling in love, lessons learned to chosen religious paths, parenthood to grandparenthood, to wisdoms and hopes and dreams to pass on to the next generation. This life review video is then edited with music and pictures to be passed on so the hospice patient like Marie Lasher knows a tangible legacy of memories and wisdom will live on for her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Marie shared the story of how her family coming to America from Hungry and Austria. Those of her family who stayed behind, she laments were killed in the gas chambers when the Nazis invaded Europe during World War II.

Marie’s father played pinochle at weekend gatherings that brought the family together in America. She knew all her aunts and uncles. Pinochle brought together not only family but also friends from the neighborhood. The gatherings punctuated her childhood while also setting the course for her adulthood. As it was during one of these games that she met and fell in love with the man who would become her husband in 1944 and her son, Lewis, was born in 1945.

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