I made my mom cry

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It’s true.  I made my mom cry.

But before you start thinking what a terrible son I must be, let me tell you what happened.


My brother and his family live in South Carolina.  This summer they came down to our area for a brief visit.  When they went back home, they left their 9 year old daughter, Eva, here to spend a couple of weeks with my parents. I don’t know who was more excited about this extended vacation, my niece Eva or her grandma and grandpa.

Since my mom and dad are both retired, they have the time available to make their own schedule, so with Eva here for a couple of weeks they definitely made the most of it.  My other brother lives locally and they have a couple of kids in the same age range as Eva, so Grandma and Grandpa and the 3 grandchildren had a blast for those 2 weeks.  They went to the park, the beach, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Glazer Children’s Museum, and more – they all had a great time.

And of course, lots of pictures were taken.  My dad has this compact digital camera that he takes just about everywhere, so every time the group of them did something fun he was snapping pictures.  I don’t know how many total, but probably close to 100 over the 2 weeks.

Shortly after that, my mom was looking at the pictures on the camera and saw a few that didn’t turn out right, so she deleted them.  Suddenly, somehow, all of the pictures disappeared.  She and my dad kept looking all around in the camera’s menu, but no pictures.  To say they were disappointed doesn’t really do it.  My mom was especially sad, because those pictures represented a really special time with their grandkids, and she was the one who apparently “deleted” them.

In my computer business, I have had a few times when my clients have accidentally deleted pictures from their camera’s memory card.  I have a few methods (using various specialized software) to retrieve those photos, and have had a pretty good success rate.  So I took the camera card home and worked my magic on it.

It didn’t work.  Here is the email I sent mom and dad:


We talked about this later.  She didn’t show it much, because my mom is a very positive person.  But she was really feeling awful that those pictures were lost forever.

A day or so later, I was thinking about the whole situation, and it occurred to me that there was one thing I hadn’t tried (a different program to use for data recovery).  I plugged in the memory card, ran the software, and…

There were all of the pictures!  I couldn’t believe it.  I double checked and opened several of them in Photoshop to be sure, and it was true…the pictures were recovered.

One other thing that I haven’t mentioned so far in the story is that I have been planning a new business venture for a little while – video production.  I am able to take some pictures and put them into a video format, add some music and some text, and turn out a product that people will really treasure.

So that’s what I did.  I put together a 3-4 minute video, made up of all of the “lost” photos.  I think it turned out pretty well.

The next day, I called my mom and dad to make sure they were home and said I was coming over to show them something.  They had no idea what I was up to.  I brought the video over on a DVD so they could watch it on their big screen.

Surprised? Excited? Elated?  All understatements.  Like I said, I made my mom cry.


Clearly one of my happiest moments as a son.  It’s something that none of us will ever forget.  To top it off, the day I delivered it was my parents’ wedding anniversary.

I love the timing of this – what a great way to launch a new service!  Still pictures are fine, but when you add cool graphics and music and make them into a video, they really take on a whole new meaning.  It turns those pictures into something your family will treasure forever.  What a great birthday or anniversary gift, or a heartwarming way to remember a loved one who has passed, or to show off a new baby.  The possibilities are endless.

Would you like to make someone cry with happiness? Check out the possibilities at my new site – SmilingVideos.com.  (On that site you can also see the video that I talked about above.)

I think you’ll like it!


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