Sunday, July 22, 2007

Caregiving: let the memories live again

Living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family, memories are pivotal. Patti’s MS symptoms of memory loss and cognitive impairment erase time. Megan, our daughter, has never ‘known’ her Mom as a walking person.


Catharsis can be wrapped in “Memories”, as in the musical “Cats”:

“…I can smile at the old days,

I was beautiful then.

I remember the time I knew what happiness was.

Let the memory live again…”

Aging home movies, many collecting dust, can turn a song writer’s lyrics into near reality. The past can walk and talk and look directly into you.

Several months ago I bought a LG DVD Recorder/Video Cassette Recorder (Model RC199H) to convert VCR tapes to DVD in one step. Just insert an old VCR tape in one side and a blank DVD disc in the other side and push the “dubbing” button. It is that simple, and works!

With pause, play, fast forward, and rewind you can actually edit what you choose to “dub” onto the DVD.

Three (3) feet of VCR tapes stacked one on top of another now takes up only the space of three (3) DVD-R’s and preserves the memories on those aging video tapes. Viewing is simplified because DVD search and cueing is ideal for this attention span challenged age.

Four score years ago my parents transferred tins of aging 16 mm and 8 mm film to VCR cassette tapes. Some of that footage “preserves” pre-WWII Washington DC as my future father then a high school senior shares some moments with his parents (my future grandparents) picnicking on the banks of the Anacostia River. To travel back 67 years and watch the river flow, old cars drive by, breeze blow through the tree leaves, a blimp float by and my future family mug for the movie camera is the closest thing to time travel I will ever experience.


Throughout this ongoing project, we are enjoying some interesting and shared family time letting the memories live again.


Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer


‘Caregivingly Yours’ Channel / You Tube


  1. Patrick,
    This is a great idea that I plan to do! My kids don't remember me talking and walking normally either.  What a neat gift for them and my grandkids. :)


  2. (((((((((((((((HUGSTOYOu))))))))))))))))))Very intresting.Thanks for sharing and have a nice week.

  3.  I wondered what machine they used to do that.  I would love to get one and same old VCR home movies.  Time to go shopping I think.


  4. Thats what I asked for my birthday, is to have all of my vhs's to be put on dvd's....I'm going to have to look that up and get one! ;o) There are somethings my son doesn't seem to remember either...and he isn't into watching the "old" home movies with me. :o) Thank you Patrick. ;o)

  5. i love all of your movies:)


  6. I am glad you brought this up because I was just wondering how you made these little movies for the journal. So all I need is a DVD Recorder/video cassette recorder to convert my old tapes (I have over 50 family tapes from over the past 20 years). I'll have to look into it... I don't know how much they cost, but I do want to transfer some of the better videos... I have some great "Funniest home videos" of my own I would love to make public. But mostly, just want to preserve the family moments of my son growing up.

    thanks for the tips. It's a wonderful idea. bea


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