Monday, 17 June 2013

Many happy memories for 70 years (mum's birthday surprise)

My mum turned 70 in April and although we weren't going to be with her on the day, we wanted to do something special to celebrate this milestone birthday. A friend at work had recently taken inspiration from this and done something similar for her dad's 60th. I thought it was a great idea and decided to go change it slightly and create a keepsake book.

The project started back in January when I sent an email and Facebook message out to lots of family and mum's friends asking for their help:

Hi and Happy New Year from a very sunny Sydney!
As you may know, my mum will be celebrating a milestone birthday next year. Its looking unlikely that Sham and I will be able to be there to celebrate it with her, so I thought it would be nice to try and organise a special gift for her. I am hoping to put together a book of memories that her nearest and dearest have of her - and I thought 70 would be a nice significant number!
And this is where you come in!
If you can spare a few moments in the next month or so, I would be so grateful if you would write down and post or email a favourite memory you have of the lovely Pushpa. It can be anything - the more nostalgic the better! You are of course more than welcome to send me more than one memory - I am aiming for 70, but would love to have more. If you have any photos that go with your memory, I would love to include them - I will scan and return them to you, or you can scan and email me a copy.
I am sending this to anyone I have email addresses for and will also send facebook messages etc, but please feel free to send it to anyone that you know that might want to send something for this gift - the more the merrier! In particular, I might have sent this to the younger people who I have details for - please can you ask your parents etc to join in too?
Please remember, I am not asking for a birthday message, I need a memory that you have of my mum that will make her smile (or cry) when she thinks of it. It can be in English or in Gujarati - I know it will make her smile if some are in gujarati!
You can send them in the post to me if you would like to send a handwriiten message,or you can email it to me!
I am aiming to have all of the memories by the middle of Feb so that I can put together the book, get it printed and send it to her.
Thank you all so so much for taking the time to do this - I know how busy everyone is and I really appreciate you taking a few minutes to help me put together this present for my mum as I know she will love it!
Lastly, please don't mention this to her as its a surprise! I will write about it on the blog when its done! for those that don't subscribe!
Let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks again
I started getting responses within a few days and after a reminder message, I was well on my way! Fast forward a few months (I left it quite late to start the book... we had a few other things going on!) and voila - look what we all made! I am not putting the link to the pdf on here as this is a public blog, but if you would like a copy, please leave me a comment or email me and I will send it over!

We gave the book to mum after a family dinner during our recent visit to London. I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed she was by the effort everyone had gone to for her!

A MASSIVE thank you to everyone that took the time to send me memories and pictures - I could not have done this without you.

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