Sadly, I recently lost both of my maternal grandparents within the space of 4 weeks.  They had a long and happy life together with over 70+ years of marriage.  I will love and cherish my memories of them both.
Happily, technology makes this so much easier to do.  As I’m preparing for their celebration of life, we’re reviewing voice recordings, hundreds of photos, and many videos that we’ve collected over the years either from them or from others.
The bulk of them came from my grandmother.  My grandmother was a shutterbug.  She literally took pictures of pictures.  You’re probably wondering what in the world.  She would dress my mom and her siblings in the same outfit that they had worn for a formal portrait and have them hold their large portrait (think 3 x 4) in the lawn and take more pictures.  Fortunately, she grew out of this practice but we do have some pretty humorous photos of this phase in her life.
She was love photography and she left us with hundreds of family photos from her 92-year life.  My grandfather on the other hand would simply take it all in.  Especially recently while my mom was out there with them, we would use Face Time on the iPad to talk together and my son would do his reading homework for them.  Grandpa was simply amazed at the clarity and speed of video phone call.  Having lived 99 years, he’d said he’d seen a lot but this was probably one of the coolest.  I wish that we’d recorded these conversations but I don’t think Face Time can do that (yet).
The challenge I’m facing now is deciding which technology to use to pull all this together, make it presentable in a meaningful way and at the same time, enjoy the wonderful memories of their lives.  So, I started as any typical IT person would do, I “googled” it.  I came up with a myriad of software to use on my iMac or many Windows PCs.
For organizing the wealth of material, I started with ACDSee’s Photo Manager… favorite over the years and now I’m dabbling in Apple’s iPhoto, Google’s Picasa, and a variety of other programs.  We’re holding the celebration of life in January, so I’ve still got time to pull things together.  So, I thought I’d put it out there on the Internet and solicit feedback as to which program to use.  What do you think?  Have any suggestions? 
In the meantime, I continue to enjoy my visual memories of these two wonderful people, Melvin and Helen Nelson, my grandparents.  I love and miss you.  –Cathy