I remember being called home from school during my senior year in High School because my grandmother, who lived with us at the time, had slipped into a coma. When I got home, I wanted to see her but my cousin said not to get my hopes up as she had been unresponsive for some time. Undeterred, I climbed up the stairs and sat by her bedside. As if on cue, her eyes opened and said, “My Michael, I’ve been waiting for you.” I won’t mention what else was said between us, but after our chat, she closed her eyes again and never woke up. She slipped away later that night. I share this personal story because today’s guest, Jeannée Sacken, shared a similar experience with her father—but you will have to listen in for that beautiful story.
A former English professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, Jeannée is now a photojournalist who travels the world documenting the lives of women and children. She also photographs wildlife and is deeply committed to the conservation of endangered species. She joined me on Uncorking a Story to talk about her career and latest book, Double Exposure.
- How complex stories made for Barbie and Ken and putting on plays in neighborhood backyards planted the seed that one day Jeannée might be a storyteller.
- How encouragement from a strict teacher blew some wind in Jeannée’s sails and encouraged her to write more.
- How her father’s dying wish for her to not die with regrets changed her life forever.
- How a Twilight Zone experience with a Seer in Zimbabwe put her on the path to pursuing a career as a photojournalist.
- Why she’d tell her younger self to experience it all and to not be afraid.
“I was sitting in the ICU at my father’s bedside and it was clear he was dying. He took my hand and he said, “Don’t die with regrets.” And that was the last thing he said because he went into a coma after that. And it took me a while to figure out exactly what that meant.” — Jeannée Sacken
Buy: Double Exposure
Connect with Jeannée
Connect with Mike
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