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My mom passed
Posted by: Diana
Date: December 03, 2023 10:15PM
My mom entered hospice Thursday evening, and passed away this afternoon. It was expected; she was 85 years old and frail. Add to this, her age-related dementia AND the colon cancer diagnosis? Not surprising at all.

My brother and sister have been in town since Wednesday. As neither of them can sit still (my brother is a "fixer" type person, and my sister has to have everything figured out well before it is needed even if it means Plan A, B, C, D, E ... through Z) and they needed something to do, they have been working on the things in mom's apartment: what needs done, what should be done when, call the appropriate people, that kind of thing. One of these things is the pictures mom had, and the mementos she collected up over the years. Some of these things are loose, and some of them have been mounted in picture books or in document protectors and put into 3-ring binders. It was thought that my nephew can digitize these items, but he says (rightfully so) that while he has the technical skills to do the work, he may not have the proper equipment nor the time to do the job right.

Some of these items are 80 years old or so, and some are in rather fragile states. Think pictures from World War II, grade cards from my and my siblings elementary years, crafts made, cards made and given, letters written and mailed to Santa Claus (which the post office then sent back to mom and dad with a note from the postmaster, telling them to keep the secret of Santa alive). Some are official documents, some are most certainly not.

Does anyone know of a service that they could recommend to do this work? Yes, I could open the yellow pages (do they still have such a thing?) or search on the innerwebs, but knowing the mix of individuals that make up this place I thought I would ask here.

I will be searching the forum for an answer to the question as well as checking on this post.

Thanks to all.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: December 03, 2023 10:21PM
I find some consolation that you had your siblings around, what they were doing, will be of some comfort. As bad as something like this is, to go through it alone is unimaginable (though I know many do). Peace to you.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 03, 2023 10:25PM
Sorry for your loss. Its difficult even when its expected.

I guess I don't understand the project definition, in part because you and your family are the ones who give it meaning. Box up all the documents you want to keep, file them later.

[] is a great source for archival boxes and albums.


Any local art store is likely to boxes and albums that would be suitable for your needs at this point.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2023 10:45PM by mattkime.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Rolando
Date: December 03, 2023 10:32PM
My deepest condolences.
The day I lost my mom was the worst day of my life.

I agree with mattkime.
Box it up until you are ready.
Just don't wait too long.

San Antonio, TX (in the old city)

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: December 03, 2023 10:44PM
condolences to you and yours.

Hurts like a bastid...
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Smote
Date: December 03, 2023 10:45PM
hopefully she is at peace now.

"Defending your own life when in immediate danger to me is a basic right of each person. " Lemon Drop 11/17/2023 03:10 pm

Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) Private citizens have the right under the Second Amendment to possess an ordinary type of weapon and use it for lawful, historically established situations such as self-defense in a home, even when there is no relationship to a local militia.

"The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner." Right to Keep and Bear Arms: Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-seventh Congress, Second Session. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1982. Digitized September 30, 2008.

From the NYSRPA v Bruen "Today, we decline to adopt that two-part approach. . . . Despite the popularity of this two-step approach, it is one step too many. Step one of the predominant framework is broadly consistent with Heller, which demands a test rooted in the Second Amendment's text, as informed by history."
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: December 03, 2023 10:58PM
Everything works itself out.
My deepest sympathies.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: August West
Date: December 03, 2023 11:10PM
Condolences on your loss.

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in."

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: davec
Date: December 03, 2023 11:14PM
Diana, my sincere condolences to you and your family. Whether expected or not, the death of a loved one really sucks. Often there are a lot of tasks needing to be done following the death of a family member. It can be tough identifying what must be done soon versus what should be done sometime in the future. Moving some tasks to a “sometime in the future” list can help open time for you to take care of yourself and also time to truly be with other family members too.

Hoping you know and feel the care being sent your way by myself and other MRF members.


...on the trailing edge of technology.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: December 03, 2023 11:37PM
Sorry for your loss. I hope the good memories bring you some solace.

Your nephew is correct is his initial assessment that it is a large task to digitize the items.

Before I proceed with any further advice I want to note that I have no idea what all needs to be cataloged. If my advice is not correct for the items, feel free to ignore.

Hiring someone else will likely be quite a costly endeavor. If you don't mind the price, then go of it.

If you or someone wants to do this cost effectively a bit at a time then I suggest the following approach:

Photo cataloging is primarily dependent on lighting. Lighting is why the Scary Fast Apple announcement could be shot on an iPhone 15.

It used to be that bright constant light was expensive with massive heat generated. Strobes can be pricey and reflections or dark shadows may show up if you don't know what you are doing. I am not saying you should buy the expensive lighting gear shown in the picture. You can buy relatively inexpensive and bright work lights from a place such as HD or Lowes that can light u any project.
$100 for 2 sets of lights []
Once you set these up, you can point these at a ceiling or wall and let the light bounce all around the room and what you see is what you will get with lighting. Things may get toasty with LED lights but not as hot as they would with other light types.

Something similar to this:

Setting exposure on a camera should be straightforward since it will be the same exposure every time with a constant light source. Set it to manual exposure, do test shots, check your histograms after you shoot the item. Heck, with the right lighting, a later model iPhone might suffice.

This may be a lot to take in right now so feel free to PM me when you are ready for additional information or questions.

Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. []

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2023 08:34AM by pRICE cUBE.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Diana
Date: December 03, 2023 11:41PM
Thanks everyone. This helps.

Mattkime: the items are to be digitized; scan the photographs, scan the artwork, etc. Some things could just be photographed; the intent is to put all the images/pdf’s/files on a CD or whatever to disseminate to the rest of the family that may be interested. If someone wants to be the archivist of the originals that’s fine, but the loss of the originals (which can easily happen and has happened in the past with my family) will not impact anyone else.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 03, 2023 11:54PM
A local photo lab might be able to do the work.

Otherwise setting up a copy stand isn't too bad. Setting it up is almost all the work. Things move as quickly as you can take pics once its set up.

Also, if it’s letter size or smaller, you can just use a scanner. As long as items aren’t too big you could do multiple scans and fit them together. Nearly any scanner will do the job reasonably well, doesn’t have to be expensive.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2023 08:46AM by mattkime.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Frank
Date: December 04, 2023 01:04AM
Very sorry for your loss. Even though it was expected, losing your mom is hard. Try not to stress out. One step at a time.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 04, 2023 04:15AM
I’m sorry for your loss.

Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: gadje
Date: December 04, 2023 05:14AM
I hope you find the strength you need in this difficult moment.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: December 04, 2023 06:21AM
First, condolences.

As for digitizing photos, etc, I faced a similar task after my mother passed. I just set aside a few hours every week to scan the images at a high resolution into JPEG format. That is essentially what you would be paying others to do.

I first sorted everything into groupings (mom, dad, sister, uncles, etc) then scanned all in a grouping and kept them together in a file, then the next grouping went in another file, etc. I was putting everything on an Ancestry page, so I identified everyone as well.

It was fulfilling and helped me cope as I came across images and items that brought back many pleasant memories.

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"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias

The German word for contraceptive is “Schwangerschaftsverhütungsmittel”. By the time you finished saying that, it’s too late
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: rgG
Date: December 04, 2023 06:56AM
So sorry for your loss.
My mom died in June.
I know how much there is to do, after someone dies.
My daughter and I will be starting up, again, going through my mom’s stuff next month, when my daughter can come down to help me.
I think you have gotten some good advice here. I hope it goes smoothly.
Be sure to take time for self care.

Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: DP
Date: December 04, 2023 07:00AM
What everyone else has said…

Something different.

Disclaimer: This post is checked for correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Any attempts at humor are solely the responsibility of the author and bear no claim that any and all readers will approve or appreciate said attempt at humor.
My name is DP, and I approve this message.

"Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime."- Lavrentiy Beria
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: vicrock
Date: December 04, 2023 07:28AM
Condolences. No matter how old you are, it as very difficult to lose your parents!
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: vision63
Date: December 04, 2023 07:36AM
So sorry to hear about the passing of your mom.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: PeterB
Date: December 04, 2023 08:11AM
Diana, my condolences. Unfortunately, I don't have anything useful to add beyond the great advice already given above.

Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: December 04, 2023 08:12AM
Terribly sorry for your loss. Agree with the good advice elsewhere on this thread: scanning will be a big, emotional job right in the middle of other big, emotional jobs. Try not to feel pressured to do it right away. I sincerely hope you find some moments of sweetness between the tears.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: lost in space
Date: December 04, 2023 10:00AM
Condolences to your and your family. It's good that you have other family members to help you through this difficult time.

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: December 04, 2023 10:58AM
So sorry to hear of your loss. May your mother rest in peace.

Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: jh
Date: December 04, 2023 12:54PM
My condolences to your and your family also. Long response below, ignore or scan as you desire.

I became the archivist of our family and relatives photos, documents etc. My mother was an only child and her mother kept everything about her as well as baby shoes, clothing, her curls which were cut off when she was 8 years old, etc. I have deeds, tinplate photos, photos, slides, newspaper articles, bank books, etc., with some dating back to the mid 1800's. Our oldest brother at an early age was a camera nut taking all kinds of photos of the family and relatives of us growing up.

I did the scanning of all the photos and documents with my scanner, cataloging them, sorting them, etc. It took years for me to complete it not because it was such a massive amount (although it was a large amount of stuff) but it was a slow process, due to me working, taking a breather from doing it all, etc. Plus when I thought I was finished another batch of stuff was found and another. Add me digitizing video tapes from me and my siblings and it can be quite a process.

Now you can do it by scanning digitizing videos tapes, cassette tapes etc. There are convertors for video tapes and cassette tapes reasonably priced if you go that route.

Or you can use companies that do the work for you when it comes to archiving photos, tapes, etc. I used one for a reel to reel tape to digital file and discovered it was my grandmother (she was our only grandparent) talking about our family history.

Whatever you digitize in your archive process it goes without saying backup your data. Put it in the cloud.

My 2 cents of advice when processing photos for identification. I have found out when some people view old photos they tend to ask questions such as:

1. Who are these people or person?
2. Where was this photo taken?
3. When was this photo taken?

Sometimes these are hard questions to answer when nobody is around or alive to help answer questions such as these.

If you know it document it somewhere. For future generations or our children to know.

Enough rambling. May you have wonderful memories as you sort the items left.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: December 04, 2023 01:04PM
My condolences for your loss. May good memories be a blessing that supports you in this challenging period.

For scans, I've heard good things about scancafe:

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: JoeM
Date: December 04, 2023 02:04PM
So sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family.

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: bfd
Date: December 04, 2023 02:14PM
Very sorry for your great loss. May her memory be a blessing…
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 04, 2023 04:18PM
.....sorry for your loss.....

.....just my experience when my mom passed parents saved is a pain but it is best to sort the stuff using someone in the family.....we took turns looking through all the stuff, most was garbage and it took many months to finish.....the reason I say have a relative do it is you may something, unknown bank account, jewelry etc and best to have family look over [ we found some cash that had been forgotten and some pieces of jewelry ].....

....there will also be 'sentimental' thing that one or all of you may want to one can evaluate that except you guys.....good luck.....!!!!


I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: December 04, 2023 05:58PM
I'm very sorry for your loss Diana.

I wish you peace during this time to remember and grieve.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: wave rider
Date: December 04, 2023 06:10PM
Sorry for your loss Diana…

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: December 04, 2023 07:05PM
Very sorry to hear this, Diana. May she rest in peace.

It is what it is.
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Todd's keyboard
Date: December 04, 2023 07:35PM

T’s kb
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: davester
Date: December 04, 2023 08:07PM
Sorry to hear about your mom Diana. I know from experience that even though it's expected it is never easy. My mom died years ago and I still have thoughts like "I should tell mom...oh, wait".

I can't help much with digitizing general stuff, though I did a bunch of research on digitizing photos a couple of years and zeroed in on this outfit as a really good one: [].

"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: December 04, 2023 11:18PM
Sorry to hear of your loss. May she Rest In Peace.

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Re: My mom passed
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: December 05, 2023 02:44AM
My condolences to you and your family.

Perhaps the greatest comfort I received when we finally had to decide to assign our mom to ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ status came from the head hospice nurse.

She told us to imagine mom as we always knew her, when she was the woman we’d always known and loved, standing at the foot of her bed.

“Listen to her.”

The answer was a peaceful, profoundly loving goodbye. It brought a lifting of burden and inner peace nowhere to be found the moment before.

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The bartender asks the rabbit "what'll ya have?"
The rabbit says "I dunno. I'm only here because of Autocorrect.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
As of July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now available by simply dialing 988. The previous number, 1-800-273-8255, will remain active.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2023 02:46AM by Blankity Blank.
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