First Advisor

Dr. Katherine Partridge

Second Advisor

Dr. Lara Narcisi

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Dr. Amy Schreier


Dr. Karen Adkins


Regis College

Degree Name



Regis College

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

74 pages


My grandmother’s life, specifically during times of harvest, sewing, and her journey with cancer, have informed how I live my life and speaks to the division of men and women, specifically within rural religious communities. By looking back through my memories and her diaries, I have developed an understanding of how her sense of self is deeply involved with the domestic sphere and caretaking; in this gendered division, women’s work is undervalued but drives the community and influences how these communities interact with the outside world. In this creative thesis, I engage in the practice of creative nonfiction writing, applying feminist ethics to my grandmother’s lifestyle and journey with cancer. I conclude that, while my grandmother is autonomous in the way that she chooses to serve others and maintains the integrity of her ideals, she has been robbed of her autonomy regarding her end-of-life wishes. Through memoir-style vignettes, I explore the elements of care that she bestowed upon my family, and I conclude that while there are crucial aspects of her lifestyle that I take with me, such as caretaking, service, and community, I encourage all readers to interrogate their matriarchal line and consider how to ensure their self-respect is maintained as they sustain their communities and families.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.