Today I Made a PowerPoint Presentation For My Dad’s 80th Birthday

bill03It’s going to be great and I think everyone will really appreciate it. But I shouldn’t have decided, less than a week before I fly to Calgary, to tackle this. It’s a huge project. Even if I hadn’t thought about doing it for his 80th, why did I not start this long ago?

Dad’s not in good health. He’s in a nursing home. He was in the hospital three times in ’12. This presentation is something I would definitely want to have for his funeral. And it’s not something that can be thrown together at the last minute. I don’t even live in the same city, let alone, country. What was I thinking??

Luckily, my brother put together a comprehensive PowerPoint about 13 years ago, for my parents’ 40th anniversary. So I had that to start with. It was a history of our whole family, though, and I wanted to include only the pictures with my Dad in them. So I needed to cull a lot of those pics out, in order to make room for the last 13 years, and to keep it under 20 minutes. I had a lot of photos to scan in from my old photo albums. And I had to go through all our picture files, since I started not keeping photo albums. And, there were still gaps. I had no pre-marriage pics. And there haven’t been many pictures taken since my nephew died in ’05. I had very few. Though I’ve visited regulary since then, sometimes with Rachel, my husband and boys have rarely wanted to go back.

So, basically, I needed my mother to scan in her pictures and send them to me. She’s 76! My brother Robert was an angel and went over to her house to do it.

And I had to pick music…

Oh, and then there’s the issue that my computer crashed since I last used the PowerPoint to DVD conversion software I bought years ago. Thank God I kept the registration number for that, so I was able to redownload it for free. It’s great. You can convert your PowerPoint and burn it to a DVD, so you can play it on a TV. Robert has confirmed that the nursing home has a TV with a DVD player. We’ll try it out on Friday, just to make sure. The party isn’t until Saturday. If it doesn’t work, we’ll be able to use someone’s laptop to play the PowerPoint disc, which I will bring as well.

It’s taken many, many hours, but has been more emotionally exhausting than anything else. To see all those young, happy times. And then the more recent years, which have been so sad. The lack of pictures and celebrations. The loss of innocence. You can see it in everyone’s eyes. I cried a lot yesterday.

But, I’m almost done. I’m praying I don’t run into any technical issues. And, as I’ve been doing this, I’ve been scanning pictures in for Rachel’s high school graduation slideshow. I did one for each of the boys. And I did one for my sister-in-law’s baby shower a few years ago. I love watching them.

So how did all this simplify my life? It didn’t, really. But it’s a been a good reminder for me to keep on top of projects that are important to me. For you, it may not be a PowerPoint presentation. But, whatever it is, don’t let it get away from you. It will either complicate your life as you scramble to get it done. Or it won’t get done and you may regret it.

Update: it was a HUGE hit. Better than I had even hoped! The songs I used were:

– Mares Eat Oats by Jo Stafford and Pied Pipers (this was popular when he was a kid and he used to sing it to us)
Wedding Bell Blues by The Fifth Dimension (my Dad’s name is Bill and I always thought this song was about him when I was a kid)
Joy to the World by Three Dog Night (of course, I had to have something Canadian! My favorites are Guess Who songs, but they weren’t as fitting.)
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond (the man is a national treasure)
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong 🙂
100 Years by Five for Fighting (not a song I was really familiar with, but perfect for the occasion.)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by that big Hawaiian dude with the ukelele (always everyone’s favorite. This is when the tears start flowing.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *