Regina Mitchell and E. Mitchell

Recorded September 30, 2020 Archived September 30, 2020 47:09 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby020084


Spouses Regina Mitchell [no age given] and E. Stanley "Stan" Mitchell [no age given] reflect on their marriage and share how it all started on a chance meeting and a piece of gum. They talk about their professional and academic successes and how it led them to Canada, Europe and eventually Las Vegas, the challenges they faced when Regina lost her vision and how they continue to build trust through consideration.

Subject Log / Time Code

E. Stanley shares that he had been reflecting on their marriage and how it all started on a chance meeting and a piece of gum.
Regina: "What made you ask me to marry you 3 weeks later?" Stanley: "It was like a love that I had never known before. She's the companion of my life that I didn't even know I was looking for."
Regina talks about her favorite memories in Canada. She describes the sounds of the car pulling into the driveway. Stanley: "Without fail you always wait for me at the front door."
Regina talks about leaving British Columbia to go to Seattle Culinary School. Stanley asks Regina what it was like to leave him to go live in Seattle by herself.
Stanley talks about Regina reminding him of Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy. When she shared that she wanted to go to Europe to learn from master chefs for a year he kept thinking, "What did I miss? Someone forgot to tell me something."
Stanley: "Marriage is a balancing act and based on my experience with you, if two people really love each other and they really trust each other - and people use the word trust too frivolously - but when you trust the person at their core and everything that they do they are considering makes all of the difference in the world."
Stanley remembers loving the experience of visiting Regina in Europe. Stanley: "I got to see all of that because I trusted you considered me in that decision."
Regina talks about moving to Las Vegas to work at the MGM Casino as a chef and then asks Stanley how he felt when she got sick.
Stanley remembers the doctor having tears in his eyes when they shared that Regina was not going to get her vision back. He asks Regina what it was like to go blind so quickly. Regina: "It happened so fast I don't think I had a chance to grasp what was going on. All I could think of is I'm still a wife, I'm still a mom, I'm still all these things. I just struggled a lot. Blindness is something where your vision can't be corrected but I had functional vision. When one member of your body is hurting the rest of your body is really challenged. Things just happened so fast and you were so good to me I didn't think I was blind."
Stanley: "Who loses their vision and then decides they're going to go back to school full-time? That's my wife. That's Lucy." Regina remembers that Stanley read all of her books for her. She remembers that encouraged Stanley to go back to school.
Regina talks about the National Federation of the Blind and how she became the president. Regina shares that she wanted to share her culinary skills to serve the blind community. "Just because you are blind doesn't mean that we want to have food cooked for us all the time or meals brought over to us. We want to have independence and we want to be able to do it ourselves." She remembers thinking she could teach someone how to cook. "When I gave a young man an egg to crack that was the first time he had ever held an egg in his whole life. That moment gave me more gratitude and awareness than traveling all around the world. Because he took something so simple as an egg....and he never ever had held or cracked an egg and we were able to experience that together."
Stanley shares that he thought Regina's eyes were going to miraculously open and she would be able to see again in the future. He shares one day he realized that she didn't have to get better. Stanley: "It's okay if it doesn't get better because I remember it in my vows. I remember what I said that this was going to be for better for worse, for sickness and in health."
Stanley: "Every day that I have with her is another day that I have with her and I want to make the best of it whether it's chemotherapy or anything else."
Stanley: "Thank you for choosing to be Mrs. E. Stanley Mitchell." Regina: "Thank you for asking me."


  • Regina Mitchell
  • E. Mitchell

Recording Location

Virtual Recording



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00:06 My name is e Stanley Mitchell.

00:09 People call me Stan.

00:12 Today's date is Wednesday, September 30th 2020 and I am currently in the state of Nevada in the city of Henderson.

00:22 My conversation Partners name is Regina Mitchell my lovely wife.

00:29 And we have been married.

00:33 35 years

00:35 And I'm Regina Mitchell.

00:38 I am currently in Nevada Henderson, Nevada. Today is Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 and my conversation partner is my husband of 35 years down during the term AKA stand.

01:00 You know, I was thinking about our marriage the other day and I was thinking that our marriage our life together is based on a chance meeting and a piece of gum.

01:13 And I wonder

01:17 When I walked into the room.

01:21 When we first met

01:28 I am so sorry.

01:31 I did not because you know, I didn't mean you I only saw you once you sit down you're wiping your forehead. I only saw you when you can sit next to me.

01:57 When I came into the room.

02:00 On that day

02:02 In December of 1983 of 1983. I came into the room and across the room I saw.

02:16 Who is that?

02:20 Oh, nevermind. I don't want to I don't want to I don't want to be in any other relationship. So I'm going to ignore that.

02:27 But because my mother had asked me to be a part of the play, I just sucked it all up and and

02:38 I'm going to make this for the when I came into that area where you were sitting and I sat down next to you. I had absolutely no intention of even saying I just wanted to get it over with cuz you are such a beautiful woman. I thought last semester of my junior year and I was looking forward to graduating not meeting somebody money than you had all that going on.

03:17 In your mind and they're like that just

03:21 A person a girl

03:23 Your mama, and your mom asked me to be in a play.

03:27 And I was just sitting waiting for my turn. I had a clueless that all that was going on in your brain because none of it was happening in my brain my next part my part to go on stage.

03:43 Yeah, and there you were being traumatized. You never gave me a second thought.

03:50 I know all these years but no I did it. I'll just a person just a girl just started going to the church sitting there waiting for my part and you came and sat next to me.

04:08 And then you

04:10 Ask me for if I want it. Okay, so

04:16 You had no idea who else was going to be in the play with you feeling my mother asked you to be in the place. She didn't say this is what's going to happen. All you do is you were solitary human down and I knew they were going to be other people there, but I had no idea who is going to be.

04:38 I wasn't into that. I just did my I am I always you know me by now honey. I just do my part. Okay. Well I asked you did you want some gum? So let me ask you this when I reach into my pocket and pulled out that piece of gum. Did you see the piece of gum in my hand?

05:04 Only when you examine it to me, so when I pulled it out you never saw it on my goodness. So when I offered you the piece of gum what made you take it out of my hand and you took it. Okay. And so what made you tear do with three piece?

05:33 I took the gum and tordon ripped it into three pieces because there was three of us sitting next to each other. It was three of us. So I've already talked to share. I'm the oldest I share everything so he gave me a piece of gum. It was on leave right in my mind.

05:50 Take me back to share with you and share with the guy next to us into three pieces. Although I didn't know that your chair was turned away from you because I wanted to have nothing to do with it. I knew the potential of what would happen if I even gave with you and I didn't want to guess what?

06:31 That's what I thought to myself when I came in the room. She's so pretty if I talk to her it's over. I'm going to be I'm going to be committed to this and I but then you wrote that piece of gum in three pieces and my mind was blown. And so when I asked you for your number, what did you think?

06:59 Absolutely. Okay. You're handsome.

07:07 So when I called you four days later, what was the first thing you thought really know what you mean by real?

07:35 I've never gone on a date.

07:38 Okay, wait a minute would be okay. This is what do you mean you have never gone on a day of the newness and you're going to come pick me up to go out New Year's. Alright, and that was the first time someone called you and said I'm going to come pick you up and we're going to go on a date but what if my parents are going to meet you and we're going to get in the car and ride it was going to be a real game real nice guy.

08:35 Time for when we started driving and then I just said I'm going to just drive and I start driving down towards San Diego. What were you thinking?

09:00 Really you're playing different music. I love Daniel is real and he was real.

09:16 But I remember as I was driving down the road I was thinking to myself. Okay? Okay. I'm going to drive and once I get to turn around and come back, but then you said so when are we going to stop what made you say that look at me? I want to stop and turn my body and look at you and you look at me and we can just have a conversation rather than you looking a course on the road and me. I want you. I want your sex by side. Wow. Oh my goodness. What's going to happen next? I really got very nervous.

10:12 I know what you're going to do Lord have mercy she wants me to stop by cuz I have never been on a date with someone died in the first week of talking to you. I thought wow this is amazing. What I did a lot of relationship has like a little kid has like a little kid with I was going to get the first kiss from my from a little girl and we taught. Like I've known you for all my life. Never not known each other each other forever.

11:00 And then what made you ask me to marry you?

11:05 Well, you mean Weeks Later. Well, you know when we went to self solving and we're sitting on that bench and I thought

11:15 You know, I really love her. I don't even know her but I love her. She's like the companion of my life that I didn't even know. I was looking for it. And so I was sitting there and I've been thinking about marriage for the last two weeks since I met her and I said

11:45 I've been thinking about marriage and then you said I have to

11:53 And I would marry you.

11:55 Okay, it's okay and they were able to see they really love each other and that we weren't able to provide for me and your mom and your dad to see that I was good for you, but they really got the chance to see the everything until we were married and

12:47 You know, we had a career and you know, I was I was going to I was going to go back to school all the time. And then I remember thinking wait a minute. We really love God, and we really in a lot of time and so that's when I decide to go back to school.

13:11 And that started the whole milk and honey. I feel like I'm called to Ministry. I feel like the Urgent do ministry in to be a pastor. We're going to be for your mind.

13:44 Well, I knew that their income came from

13:48 Remember, right and so you don't know what your congregation is going to be but it was just a flighty thing and we're just one of those things that went came and gone and then once I realized what Ministry would Ministry was about I never thought about that when you asked me are we going to be cool?

14:15 No, you don't live right now. I said honey. I have a college degree. I'm an architect. I can always go back home girl going to have a granny dress and big tennis shoes walking around school now.

14:42 I feel like we're called to go to Canada.

14:46 When do you think I'm ready? If you remember when I said to you if you don't hurry up and we don't sell this house.

14:56 I'm going to leave going to Canada without you right I was ready. I was on board to go do that business and get going because I didn't want you to go without me. Wow living in Point Roberts, Washington.

15:29 O hearing the ocean at night and then here you come up the drive on a little Pebble Road. I always knew him it might be driving into Canada to go to the office and then coming back through the border to come home. And I remember that I would come true. I remember the sound as I was driving up the Pebble Drive and you look the wheel with the car traveled for the crushing underneath and then pulling into the driveway getting out of the car going to the front door. And you opening the front door. Give me a big hug it without fail you were waiting for me at the front door. Not so much unlike you do now when I come home from work and wait for me at the front door. That was beautiful time.

16:29 18 year did men. What's the most outstanding thing about doing Ministry in Canada?

16:40 Learning people

16:42 Learning learning the different personalities of people

16:53 A good development in my in my mental awareness of how to communicate. Well with people people of a different culture different culture of people remember cuz it was predominantly british-based and and scottish-based for French baking soda. That was a wonderful experience living in

17:45 And you know, the ironic thing about living in Canada is bad because we move to Canada that open the doors for us to travel around the world every never look move to Canada. I don't think we would have ever traveled like to hear a lot of things to be open to that cross-border travel. Yeah. Okay. And so how did you feel when I said honey culinary school said you asked I asked you what would you do if you could do anything in the world right now? Remember your answer you or time would I do?

18:42 To learn more about

18:46 And you said okay you

18:52 Found a resource. What does that mean? You want to become a shot? And you said yeah. Yes. We took me out of British Columbia because I could go to school or work to Seattle culinary arts.

19:21 What was that like leaving me in Canada and going to live in Seattle by yourself?

19:31 Lonely, and I had a job to do and I know I needed to do this for myself and because it's what I wanted.

19:41 So I thought about you all the time before she called me and came to see me on Thursday. We drive to Canada with the ministry and you drive me back in 3 days in the end of my culinary school. I apply for a British Fellowship. I did not know that I was going to get it cuz it was it was a Pacific Northwest Fellowship.

20:24 And I didn't tell you that I had applied but but then after all the interviews.

20:32 I was one of the two selected.

20:35 How to get how did you feel when I came home and said, honey?

20:41 I'm going to be going to Great Britain.

20:46 And leaving in two weeks, and I'm sorry I didn't tell you because I didn't think I was going to get it. Well, I'll tell you.

20:57 You know, you've always kind of slightly reminded me of Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy. You only have some always have some hair brain idea going on at you. No take me by surprise. They're all good, but they just a little shocking it time. So when you said that I thought wait did I miss something? How did we get from graduated the graduating from from culinary school to now you're going off the living your what happened? What did I do? But, you know because of our relationship and how it started and work then you know over the years and how we trusted each other, you know, you trusted me that this is part of what my thinking was you trusted me to leave your family and everyone behind and move to Canada with me because of something that was my vision. So now you haven't learned

21:57 Chef in Europe for year is a long time without me, but I thought you trusted me. So I'm going to trust you.

22:09 Well, you know marriage marriage is a balancing act and I think that you know based on our experience my experience with you. I think if two people really love each other and they really trust each other and you know, you know people use the word trust so so

22:30 Frivolously, you know, you don't trust me. I don't trust you either that kind of thing. But I mean when you trust a person at their core and you believe that everything that they do in their life, they are considering you like if you can believe that someone considers you in their decisions and in their thought processes and that's the kind of trust you have with each other then it makes all the difference in the world. It's like, you know, when we first got married and I said, I won't spend $50 more than $50 on myself without asked you and you said you would not feel spend $50 on yourself without asking me first, but we can spend whatever we wanted on the other than each other in the same way for 35 years because I trust you.

23:23 Consider me and you trust me to consider you in every decision that impacts are right and it's almost every decision that we make on a daily basis. So I think that you know, the two people can let down their guard and really trust each other in to that extent to to say I trust that you're going to consider me in all of the things that you do just consider me think about so when you said you're going to give you one of you got a fellowship to go to Europe music playing me how it happened that you didn't think that you would get it made sense. And I thought well, okay instead of me getting my feathers ruffled the thing to do is for me to ask God or pray about or think about figure out a way that I can come visit you at least

24:15 Once a month

24:17 Why you being so high they experience experience? Think about it? Whenever I would come you have a trip planned for okay, honey, let's go to the Scottish Highland. Okay, honey, let's go to Inverness. Okay, honey, let's go to London. Okay, honey, let's move to London. Let's go. Let's go to Barcelona. I mean all of that because

25:01 I trusted you considered me and that's it. And it's been a really bad a benefit to my life. And then I was trying to figure out okay. So now I'm traveling from Ministry to Japan every couple of months and you're in Europe and so we're going to make this work and we're going to make it a benefit for an amazing day and become closer. I think what do you think? You think it's okay. So now I'm back in the States and I'm working and warm amazing chef and then we decide to come to Las Vegas for my job.

25:54 And then I'm working here at the MGM Grand hotel and casino and then I guess that

26:05 Yeah, I mean that was that was a big deal. You know, I mean we went from from being able to do everything that we wanted to do everything we can travel the world and you know, he even went when our daughter came Journey can't we still traveled and she traveled with us and enjoy the time but when when it living here in Las Vegas Living in in Henderson, and and you know, I remember I remember the occasion when we're on the way to Arizona on that trip to Arizona and you said your eyes are hurting and you said what is this why I thought maybe something flew into your eye and your caring was with his sister and she thought, you know, maybe it was something that I ate or something.

27:05 Take out all kinds of things of what it could be in that whole trip. We were way you had towels wrapped around your head and you are in constant pain in 30 days. You went blind that was that was a life-changing experience. But you know, I think that because our America has been so strong and realize that everything that were in were in together. I thought okay, she's gone. That's alright. We'll figure it out.

27:45 And I remember taking you to the doctor to find out exactly what was wrong and he said why don't you know three weeks from now your vision provision should return

27:55 4 weeks and 6 weeks and 10 weeks

28:01 2 months and 3 months and 8 months later

28:13 He said

28:17 Bystanders sort of watching and ushering my wife through this and trying to make sure that your family is going to be okay and wanting you to be okay and what for what did it feel like for you to be blind from your point of view? What if what if what if

28:43 I think it was my everything because I didn't understand if it happened so fast, I don't think that I had a chance to Grass what was going on. So all I could think of is

29:00 Well, I'm still alive. I'm so long. I still work going to still be nothing. I just I just struggled a lot. I mean, although blindness is something that we are busy and can't be corrected. I still have some functional Vision. So depending on the functional Vision that I had which would cause a strain on my body when one member of your body is hurting.

29:30 The rest of the body is really challenged. So I

29:36 They just happen so fast and you were so good to me. I almost didn't think I was lying. Like I didn't think anything was wrong and I just can't take my time doing things. It's a what what happened? When how did you feel when I had to leave my job?

29:56 Being a chef of being working at the hotel and then say okay. I'm going to go to school full-time. Can I talk to myself? Okay. So you lose your blunt, you lose your vision and become blind and you go back to school. Who does that. That's my wife Lucy to figure things out like that decides that that's what she's going to do. Okay, and okay. Well, then you're going to go back to school every provision possible for you to be able to do it and do it successfully because I wanted you to be if this is going to be your new life and say let's make the absolute best of it. And do you know then you read most of my books to me.

30:48 Analogous thing that I do now, but I didn't I didn't remember I read it and then that's what that encourage you to go back to school Masters and I'll give you my password and you know, it's funny because when you when you finally realize that your vision was not going to come back.

31:45 What did you think about your life?

31:52 I

31:53 Never thought about it. I just thought as is coming. We'll figure it out.

32:03 And the time we can travel anymore cuz of my my body altitude my ears was affected because of the disease, but we didn't let that stop was my kid word road trip and never have to worry about what tomorrow is going to be going to be the chapter president and it came up line connect or I said honey. I

32:55 I think we're going to take all of the cooking that I've done professionally.

33:02 And I want to give it to my blind community. So I have a question for you. Now. You've been a chef your classically trained Chef your Master Chef cook around the world.

33:17 And now you're coming into Arena of people who are blind in a cannot see and now you're going to teach them how to cook you have very little vision yourself and you got to handle knives and he did all of that and now you're going into Arena where there's some people who have zero vision. How did you feel about that? First of all?

33:47 Just because we are we are blind.

33:51 Doesn't mean that we want to have to cook for us all the time or Mills bottles. We want to have independent and we want to be able to do it ourselves and so being blind. I realize that I thought well, I want to get out and do things. I'm going to be able to still cook but now I have to figure out how to do it safely with my skill and with their skill of accessibility and Mobility we can put these two together like it keeps them. So when I'm young man how to make brownies and show and gave him an egg to crack.

34:34 For the first time in ever seen are held and eggs in his whole life.

34:42 In War II mean that moment gave me more.

34:48 Gratitude and an awareness in traveling all around the world cuz he agrees that we have in the world.

35:03 What common ingredient that we have every culture uses an end? And he never ever have held or cracks and asked if we were able to experience that together and I wasn't part of that and I taught him how to do that. That was amazing. And I thought you know what I want to do this. Now. This is something that I want to do and so with steel and ink are and patients are now able to through Angela's house blind connect. I'm able to step in the kitchen with them. Now. I'm cooking in the dark with Regina check Regina and it's amazing. I'm never to give back to the community that part in the Pines invisible. Can you tell if people don't think about chefs don't think about

36:03 And so I'm able to separate in this new Arena and take on this amazing.

36:12 They wanted you to teach this class the blind at the boy and we go because I came home one day and it was came home from the office and it was late in the afternoon, and I walked into the house and walking through the kitchen and the stove was on the burner was on and you were nowhere to be found unless I know if I'm cooking.

37:10 Do you know what I trust you until blindness? You know, I'll do it.

37:20 You know, I'll tell you when you get in the beginning. I always thought that it was going to get better because the doctor and I held on to that for probably the first year. I kept thinking that one day. I was going to miraculously open you going to be able to see but then I realized that I was I was holding on to something that might not ever happen in the house. I'd ask myself. How am I going to be okay with it if it never gets better.

37:56 And that was a chain when I realized it doesn't have to get back.

38:06 I remember I remember that day that I thought that I remember that particular day when I when I came to that point of understanding that it's okay with doesn't get better because I remembered my Val and I remember the things that I said that you know that that you are my wife and that dishes for better for worse for sickness in sickness and in health, but we'd when we say those things in sickness and in health, we think everything is going to be healthy and until when sickness comes and then you know what they say that the doctors were saying the only way that you're going to keep the vision that you do have is if you keep on with the chemotherapy, you know every month and I thought okay, so this sickness is here to stay. Let me make the best out of it. Let's let's have fun through this.

39:06 Let's make a road trip. Let's have a good time. Let's let's figure out where we're going to have dinner together like figure out what we're going to do on the drive back on the side.

39:18 One way I made my 280 miles to UCLA.

39:29 Three-and-a-half to four hours each way to get chemotherapy and I say to myself every day. We're going to have fun all the way there and not on the other side of that. That's me getting poked at least three times for vein and me sitting there with with poison going through my system. So but yeah, I look forward to what I'm saying. This is how marriage I think this is what makes marriage fun.

40:22 3 days before your chemotherapy appointment. I know the chemotherapy appointments coming. So 3 days before the chemotherapy appointment is coming I start conditioning myself. I take deep breaths and I start to say to myself. Okay, Stan give Regina all the room. She needs to be a little Snappy if she wants to be be a little sad if she wants to be a little quiet if she wants me to give you all the space for three days up to chemotherapy to keep you wanted. It's okay if you're cooking. It's all right. So so when you say what date is 3 days before him?

41:10 I know I don't want to go. It's okay. I'm alright, I'm okay with anything you do up to that point because I realized that this is difficult, It's not something that you want to do, but it's something that necessary, but guess what? I always tell people when they say wow, is it hard to watch your wife go to chemo therapy and I stay everyday that I have with her is another day that I have with her and I want to make the best of it whether chemotherapy or anything else. I want to have fun with her.

41:53 How did you feel when I was standing up there being a guest speaker for my undergrad for the African American graduation ceremony?

42:09 Well

42:11 You know as I look back to a chance meeting with you.

42:19 Are appearance chart?

42:22 35 36 years ago almost 37 years ago and I look back at that day that I only took a part in that that play for my mother because she was in the paper for me. She wasn't typing a paper for me but you probably wouldn't have asked me to be in at the sheep sheep types of she was typing the paper that she typing she's staying with you but you take it apart of this play. Well, I'm going to say no and she's typing a paper for me if I would not have have said yes to taking apart in that play and I had not pulled a piece of gum out of my pocket, but we were sitting there waiting for us to do our car.

43:04 Then I would not have been able to be the proud of husband watching you stand before all those UNLV graduate giving a commitment.

43:16 After having gone through 5 years of undergrad as a blind, dude.

43:24 That was one of the most.

43:26 Proud moments that had

43:30 Being Ian

43:32 Because I think that you know all of the pieces of our life, you know going from getting married and being engaged after 2 months and then getting married a year-and-a-half later and then moving to Canada and then traveling around the world and then coming to Las Vegas and then you losing your vision and I can learning to adapt to that and then you say I want to go back to school and and then going through school with you and then sitting in the audience as you spoke.

44:06 Play Sublime. It's something that I never. Thought I'd see in my life with you.

44:13 It was amazing. I love you, too.

44:26 So we got on the plane and flew to Chicago so that I can graduate.

44:33 A master's degree from Purdue University. How did you feel sitting in the eye? Well, I expect there.

44:51 Sting

44:55 Did my husband is well deserved? It was more than a master's degree. It was like a lots of cheese.

45:09 If I could have changed.

45:14 Faces places with the chancellor that handled as a green I will I will bow.

45:29 You know, I remember amazing. Thank you. That's because you're amazing why I remember when I asked you to marry me on a certain day.

45:45 And you said what honey? You said Stan? Well, why don't we get married?

45:56 Why don't we get married?

45:59 After know before you graduate.

46:04 And I said no I want I want to get married.

46:11 A week after we Grant I graduated from my undergrad. I want to get married a week after I get my undergrad because I don't want my girlfriend sitting at my graduation. I want my wife sitting at my graduation. And so then 30 years later after that graduation you were sitting in the audience at another guy, and that was really a wonderful experience. Thank you.

46:44 Thank you for choosing to be missing each family.

46:53 I love you.