What makes a mother?
The Denver Public Library is looking for the answer by recording conversations between mothers and their children - making memories permanent.
Rebekah Henderson, a librarian at the Ross-Cherry Creek branch, coordinated the project with Stories Not Forgotten, a video recording service that helps families record their family’s stories and history. Participants were invited to the library with their children. The library presented them with the questions, and the conversations went on from there. The participants are gifted with the raw interview footage.
"One of the moms, and daughters, who participated, afterward, she said to me, 'That was so nice to be able to sit down, and take the time, and spend that time with my daughter because we just don't have to time to do that kind of thing anymore," Henderson says.
Some participants are soaking up every second of that time. Not all of these families know how much longer they'll have their mothers. It's a pain Henderson is familiar with. She lost her mom to pancreatic cancer last year.
"Watching people be with their moms was hard for me," she says of the process. "The anniversary of her death just came up for me while we were filming."
Henderson wants to give other children the gift of time and memories with their own moms, something she can't do now. Two participants, Barbara and Marlow Hoffman, were grateful to be a part of the library's project, for that very reason.
Barbara has kidney failure. And her family is looking for a living donor.
"This was particularly poignant to me right now, because my mom is sick," Marlow Hoffman said. "Those are stories we can watch later on. I really hope my mom is here for a long time, but that's not a guarantee anymore."
The screening for “What Makes a Mother” is free and open to the public. The film debuts Tuesday, May 16, at 6 p.m. at the Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library.