We get messages every week from people who’ve had their photos scanned through us. Nothing motivates us in our mission more than a note such as this one from a customer:
Knowing my precious family photos will be forever preserved for my family and descendants is so important to me. I am determined to be the “family historian for my own family [but] I couldn’t do it alone. ScanCafe has been my trusted partner from day one, taking as much care with my photos as I do and performing miracles with “hopeless” pictures.
From time to time, we also receive wonderful stories about the photos themselves – or more specifically, the people, moments and places captured in them.
Since Mother’s Day is around the corner, this seemed like a good time to spotlight a handful of these stories — centered around mothers (or grandmothers) and the special place they occupy within families and in the hearts of their children.
ScanCafe customer Connie shared her memories of growing up in a large family with six other siblings. Since her father was in the Air Force, they moved around a lot, she said, even spending some time at an airbase in Okinawa, Japan. Running the home and taking care of seven young children cannot have been a walk in the park but her mother never let the stress show and was a caring, attentive parent throughout.
We were a large family with very little money to splurge on anything. And so my mom sewed all of our clothes. When I see these photographs, I am so impressed that she had the energy to care for seven little children and make all of our clothes as well. She always made sure that we looked our best when we went out.
ScanCafe customer Doris told us about another key matriarchal figure from her childhood – her grandmother – who brought the extended family together with her warm and loving presence.
My grandmother was a very integral part of our lives. We stayed at her house a lot, playing with our cousins. We had a playhouse in an old grain shed, and she would bring our meals to us out there. We made cakes out of mud and used blue starch for the icing. She was a wonderful grandmother, loving and caring. She has been gone since 1984, and of course, we have many wonderful memories of times spent with her. When the grandmother of a family dies, you realize that she was the glue that held the family together.
Another customer shared his memories of the 1960s and of growing up in a small town in the Catskill mountains in upstate New York. He was happy to have finally gotten around to digitizing photos from that time, he said, but wished he could also have shared them with his mother.
Although the photo digitization project had been on my mind for a long time, it always lagged on the “back burner” as time went on. But when my beautiful mother, the matriarch of our family and our extended families passed away this past April, I felt the need to recapture some of our family history. I am sorry I did not do this sooner so that she could enjoy the results too.
This is just a sampling of the sentiments that old photographs evoke. There are probably tons of similar memories embedded in family archives everywhere.
Thanks to the pictures many of you have shared with us over the last year or more, our team was able to put together this beautiful collage of motherhood. It’s our way of paying tribute to all the incredible women out there who tackle their roles with love, strength, grace and humor.
Happy Mother’s Day!!