DECLARATIONS: THE HIDDEN STORIES OF PRINTED PHOTOS (MS. MYRTLE)

This may surprise some people but walking into strangers lives and asking them for intimate details is not always greeted with open arms. It's completely understandable, of course, to be wary of a girl with a camera and a asking to record a conversation with her. It was a pleasant surprise when I was greeted by Ms. Mable with bright eyes, a giant smile, and a strong, friendly, 'Well, hello!'.

One of the things that I love about Ms. Mable is she knows exactly what has made her happy in life and isn't afraid to share it with others. You get the sense that she knows you'll be just as happy to hear it as she is to tell it - and she's right. Not only is her joy contagious, her stories have made her an inspiration to me on a personal level. I make sure to remind her each time I see her that I'm doing my best to carry her spirit over to my own young daughters.   

Ms. Myrtle, resident of Crofton Care and Rehabilitation Center, with her accomplishments proudly displayed as the facilities Spotlight Resident. 

Ms. Myrtle, resident of Crofton Care and Rehabilitation Center, with her accomplishments proudly displayed as the facilities Spotlight Resident. 

“The first greatest thing is my life is my children, I’ve got 7 sons and 2 daughters. The second is my nursing degree and the third is my award from President Obama (I volunteered 100 hours in one year).

"I got my nursing license in the 60’s. It was hard, people don’t like to talk about it now but Annapolis was a very segregated place. We were there when the civil rights leaders were marching and everything. My sister was holding a banner, marching in front of the segregated restaurants. They would throw hot water on her. But then [eyes widening], Martin Luther came along. I was a nurse and housewife, and he was doing his thing for the civil rights. I kept up with it, I was so proud that I was born on the same birthday as him.

"I was fortunate to have my dream, and that was to be a nurse. And to have children – I just loved hanging on to them! My grandmother used to say, ‘God said to get married and multiply, but you don’t have to do it all by yourself!’ [laughs]

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs – but that’s life. I was up, things would happen that made them go down, but you’ve got to hang in there. I thank God I able to grow up in the past generation and the present.”