documentary video by Ayla Peacock
Lighthouses, Pigs & Husbands
About the Documentarian
Edna McVey video interviews
"The Lighthouses" (2:22)
"Edna's Pigs" (1:28)
"The Husband(s)" (2:00)
"A Day at Mennowood with Edna" (4:15)
Ayla Peacock is currently a junior and I am a sociology major.
Coming into this project I assumed it would be easy. I had the pre-conceived notion I could find the subject that would fit my documentary, and go along the ideas that I wanted to show throughout my documentary. Shortly into the process did I come to the realization that 1) my documentary had a life of its own 2) this was not easy 3) but the documentary has been enjoyable which makes it less tasking. Edna has some dementia, so she would frequently repeat herself and take long pauses to assess the situation and give herself time to think. These signs and experiences come close to my heart as my grandfather, who was also diagnosed with dementia, passed away just this past December 2014. Additionally, throughout my interactions with Edna I realized I did not have to be as careful with her as with my grandfather, in the sense that she was very mobile, cognitively alert, and expressive. Whereas during the last seven years with my grandfather he was continuously required a delicate touch whenever handling him or even communicating.
Throughout the interviews with Edna three common themes appeared. Her most obvious themes were lighthouses and pigs, as her room was decorated in a sort of homage to the symbolism, and lastly her husband. These themes were apparent as they each correlate to a specific time, some time frame of Edna’s life where it was easiest to remember.
Edna McVey—elegant and charming.
EDNA McVEY, 85, is a resident at Mennowood Retirement Center in Newport New, Va. Originally from neighboring Poquoson, she is no stranger to the Newport News/Hampton Roads area. During my visits with Edna, she shared her stories and memories from her travels and past. Although she sometimes repeated her stories and would grow slightly concerned, each time she repeats herself she became more emotionally invested and comfortable. She deflates the stereotypes that elderly are old and fragile and proved my own preconceptions about older people to be wrong. Edna is eloquent throughout and will immediately capture you with her sweet accent and charm.