institute for documentary studies
 

{the work: Somehow, Someway}

Glenda St. Pierre, 64, spends her time going to doctors appointments, filling prescriptions, managing her own landscaping company, and driving back and forth from her mother’s home in Portland to her husband’s in Freeport. Glenda is the caretaker for both her mother, who is 100 years old, and her husband, who has advanced Parkinson’s.

One-hundred-year-old Verna Littlefield has lived on Munjoy Hill in Portland for over 70 years. She raised Glenda by herself after her husband died. She worked as a bookkeeper and sardine factory worker in order to support her daughter. A former marathon walker, Verna claims that walking is the secret to reaching 100. She still lives alone, but is in constant pain. Glenda helps her with groceries, paying the bills, and cleaning the house. “I don’t know what I would do without her,” says Verna, “Sometimes I don’t know what to do with her!”

Glenda’s husband, Richard St. Pierre, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and dementia more than 20 years ago. Glenda constantly monitors Dick to make sure he takes his pills four times a day. His disease is worsening and he no longer has the cognitive ability to communicate the way he used to. Glenda must now decide whether or not to take his driver’s license away.

Dick and Verna are dependant on Glenda for help with everyday tasks. “One’s my left hand and one’s my right,” Glenda says. “It has nothing to do whether it’s hard on anybody, it’s just the problems you face…God always brings me back, somehow, someway.”

 

Somehow, Someway



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