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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mum's Memory Book - the gift that keeps on giving!

My mother's memory is deteriorating.  It's quite sad to see her not even keep up with what day it is. As I only get to return to the UK and see her approximately every six months, I notice a big difference in her each time.  When I visited home at Christmas it was quite upsetting that even Christmas day, as prominent in the calendar as it is, was confusing her.  Shortly after returning home I noticed a lovely idea on Pinterest that a daughter had put together for her father for his birthday.  She collected memories from friends and families and presented them in separate envelopes to him.  You can read that story here.  I was so moved when I read it that I wanted to reproduce it myself.

I spoke to my hubby about it and he gave a me a great idea that would suit my mum's circumstances better. It was to create a photobook with the memories collected and then she would have the memory along with photographs all in one place. If I handed her a bunch of letters she would lose most of them.

Well  I got to work.  I started by contacting family and friends for memories.  As they started feeding in to me, I was loving all of the memories that people were sharing to be included.  It was actually a blessing to me to be able to read them. Some sent photographs with their memory and I also enlisted the help of my niece to raid mum's house for her 'older' photos.

I started putting the photobook together but realised I was quite limited with space in the text box and some of the memories were long letters of love and appreciation.  I didn't want to crop them!

One day I was sharing my idea with a friend who was sharing with me her family year books she puts together in photobooks. (That's another great idea I am going to introduce!) She shared with me a company called Mypublisher.  Here's the link to that.

You download the software and then off you go. This really allows you to create your own photobook without any restrictions on text box size or how many photo's per page you wish to include.  I found it really flexible and easy to use.

It was worth all of the organising and it was finally ordered and delivered and I couldn't wait to give it to her.  We were meeting her the day after her birthday at a train station as we were driving in from Germany and spending the midweek with her at a Centre Parcs.  

We've got Nan!! 
This picture was taken as evidence that we had her safely in our possession.  One of my nephews had gone part of the way with her to make sure she made her connection in time and didn't get lost in the process too.

Here's the pics we took of her unwrapping the book and reading and rereading through!!

I think she thought it was just a picture at this point.

 Getting a little tearful listening to me read her the messages and memories.

Both in tears here ... =)

As she is forgetful she would forget that she's already seen and read the pics and messages so when she read them again she would say "I didn't know they had sent me a message!" and then cry all over again.  It is a gift that keeps on giving!! Now she can sit and reread it whenever she wants to. 


  1. Anonymous1/8/12 11:08

    I found your blog, when you started following my Zuckertuete board. I'm always interested to see who has the same "likes" as me.

    I immidiately connected with this post. I have lost both my parents & my grandmother, & so wish i had done something like this for them. I also saw the post on Pinterest but you took it to a whole new level. It made me cry.

  2. I am so glad that you connected with the post and thank you for taking the time to comment. It was worth all of the planning!!! It's never easy seeing your parents lose their independence or for us to have to say goodbye to them. Love your Zuckertuete board!! Will have another look at your other boards when I get time!!