I found the perfect gift for my mother recently. It’s one of those things you would never think to give… but as soon as you hear about it, you’ll instantly realize how perfect it is.
Fair warning: My story starts off a little sad… but trust me, there’s a happy ending.
It all started when I became pregnant about 8 months ago. My husband and I were overjoyed and couldn’t wait to welcome a new loved one into our lives!
However, this joy came with tragedy… because a matter of days later, my mother was diagnosed with a golf-ball sized tumor in her brain.
Her doctors said she would need brain surgery… and even then, the prognosis wasn’t great.
As a daughter, I was devastated. But as a soon-to-be mother, I felt something else: Regret.
You see, my mother has tried for years to share her favorite memories of my childhood with me, but I hardly ever paid attention.
Now that I was preparing to enter motherhood myself, I desperately wanted to share those memories with her while I still had the chance.
I started thinking about the memories I would create with my child… and then about all the times my mother tried to share hers with me. I had all these chances… and only now, when it seemed to be too late, did I finally want it.
Every Thanksgiving or Christmas, mom brings out her old photo albums and VHS tapes.
Even when she knows the rest of us aren’t paying attention, she’ll keep flipping through the pages, calling us over and giggling and begging us: “Won’t you take a few minutes to come upstairs and watch old home movies?”
We feel guilty – even though it’s not entirely our fault. Those albums and VHS tapes have been stashed away in the attic for decades… and most of the photos are small, wrinkled and faded by now.
It’s not the most pleasant experience to huddle around and squint – no matter how interesting the image is!
My mother can’t bring any of her memories along with her either – they’re too fragile and bulky, and nobody has a VHS player for her old tapes any more – so she only gets to share when she hosts, which is rarer and rarer these days.
I wanted to do something about it. So I posted on social media… and before long, a friend suggested I try a photo and video digitization service called iMemories.
She told me she’d used it to surprise her father by digitizing all his old football tapes – he finally got to see himself play again! I could already see my mother’s smile as I looked it up… and when I saw what iMemories does, I got really excited.
They take all your old photos and videos – and I mean ALL of them – and convert them to digital form for you.
Using the service is simple: You send them everything, they sort it all out for you, then they let you choose which ones you want to upload.
You only pay for the photos, films or tapes you want to convert to digital form, and you get ALL of your original photos and videos back safely.
That already sounded amazing… but it gets better. Not only do they repair and restore all the photos and videos before they convert them in their state-of-the-art facility, they also give you a secure, private way to access all of them online.
That means you can share them with anyone you want – whether it’s just your family, or all of your friends on social media – with a quick click of the mouse. (Or tap… you can access all your files on mobile, tablet and PC or Mac using the free app).
This gave me an idea… I crafted a sneaky plan to upload all my mother’s photos as a surprise gift. I quickly requested a box and it arrived a few days later.
I snuck into my mom’s house while my brother took her on a fool’s errand…
…and once inside, I quickly placed everything into the iMemories SafeShip kit – all her photo albums, VHS tapes, and even some old 8mm tapes and undeveloped negatives.
The whole process took me less than 5 minutes. (I couldn’t imagine how long it would have taken to sort through everything manually!)
Next, I sent it off to their facility in Scottsdale, Arizona – clear across the country. Which I admit made me a little nervous.
Even though the SafeShip box is crush-proof, water-proof, and shock-resistant, I still couldn’t shake the thought that I was trusting strangers with my mother’s most precious possessions (and behind her back!) – even if they are professionals.
However, the fact that iMemories has an exclusive partnership with FedEx to guarantee delivery made me feel much safer.
But this is what truly convinced me: They’ve been around for more than 15 years – and in that time, they’ve helped digitize and restore more than 35 million photos and videos without losing a single one!
iMemories had received my photos and sent me a quote. They had already received, organized, and labeled everything in just under 2 weeks – I was impressed!
They also removed a few duplicates from the quote, which ended up being lower than I expected. I would have paid three times as much for something this convenient!
I approved the quote, then excitedly invited my mother and my brother over that weekend…
Honestly, I couldn’t believe the wave of emotion that hit us both when she realized what was happening.
I turned on her tablet, telling her I wanted to show her a funny video. She was completely uninterested… until she realized it was an old home movie of her performing ballet as a child.
“Oh my GOD! I can’t believe it! How did you do this? How…”
She couldn’t finish her sentence. Tears were streaming down her face as I swiped through precious memory after precious memory.
Her wedding day. My first birthday. My late father dressed as the worst excuse for a Santa Claus you’ve ever seen.
“See? Everything’s here!” I told her, holding her closely.
We laughed and cried for hours together. I felt a mix of emotions I’ve never felt before… relief, joy, nostalgia, connection.
It was easily one of the most touching moments our family has ever experienced. And while it was mostly filled with nostalgic looks back at private memories we were overdue to share together, there WAS something I absolutely have to share with everyone…
This was absolutely hilarious. We couldn’t believe this, but one of the old negatives contained a photo of my mother on her prom night… with a strange man my brother and I had never seen before!
Not my father… but SOME GUY NAMED FRANK!
My mother turned beet red when she saw that photo. She told us she and my father were high school sweethearts… but it turns out, they met shortly after graduation.
My brother and I had so much fun teasing her about it!! And to think… we never would have found it if it weren’t for iMemories. It was TOO funny!
I’ll be honest, I wish I had known about iMemories a lot sooner. For me it took a tragedy to give my mother the gift of memory… but it’s really an amazing thing to give anyone who has a lot of old photos and videos that they love sharing.
As for my mother? Her surgery went better than expected, and she’s been doing well lately… so I’m optimistic that she’ll get to create new memories with my child.
But no matter what happens, I’ll never forget this incredible time we shared together. And now I’ll be able to share it with my child forever – even if those photo albums and tapes eventually crumble away, our memories of my mother and my childhood will live on.Simply put, I can’t give iMemories a glowing enough recommendation. If you or someone you love has precious memories that you want to enjoy and preserve for generations to come, then you’re absolutely going to love what they do!
Good news! It’s been 6 months since I wrote this, and my mother is doing extremely well. She’s STILL going through all her memories too… and adding new ones, of course.
She’s become an absolute hit on her high school’s social media page. They love seeing all her photos, and apparently she’s not the only one with a “Frank” in her life!
Of course, a lot of them asked how she did it… and when we showed them iMemories, they told us there’s a sale running right now, so I thought I’d let you all know!
Right now you can get 50% OFF your iMemories SafeShip Kit – and 20% OFF the price of ALL your digital uploads!
I’m not sure how long this deal will last, but it’s available as of this writing. You can find it on their official website.