In these remarkable personal testimonies, six people, who were all born around 1900, reflect on the changes in their lives as old age comes upon them. Photographs from their family albums and portraits made by Glenn Busch at the time of the interviews join together with their words to create deeply personal statements that are neither intrusive nor condescending. These are ordinary people whose stories are compelling not because they tell of great deeds or famous people but because they are like us. The voices are wistful, humorous, resentful, cantankerous, resigned, proud, and grateful. The six subjects Zita Edmunds, Glenys Lewis, Alex Coutts, Beatrice Collins, and John and Muriel Morrison represent several social and economic backgrounds, from coal miner to clergy. The context of their reflections are the events of the 20th century; they speak of the personal impact of wars, economic depressions, immigration and emigration, and economic and social change. As they describe their lives, they explore with us the meaning of old age, the fear and acceptance of death, the deterioration of their bodies, and the resilience of their spirits.
The words of the title were spoken by Zita's husband on his deathbed and they recall the importance of reminiscence, the wealth of memories. With Glenn Busch's respectful urging, these people have taken time at the end of their lives to tell us about their journeys. They are a rich and poignant experience. Author note: Glenn Busch is a writer and photographer who lives in New Zealand.