There were 3 things that inspired me to create Audivi.
First of all, my mother, like most 88 year olds, has loads of great stories about her life: growing up in Kansas City, summers with her grandmother, travel by ship, World War II, and the list goes on. We hear them again and again – and can cite some of them verbatim – but I know that won’t always be the case. As her memory fades, so do the stories. She (and we) are forgetting some of the specifics and struggle to reconstruct the stories. I worry that someday, they will be gone – for her and for us.
In addition, my husband and I recently watched a video from our wedding. The thing that struck me the most was hearing my father’s voice. I realized it was the only place that we had a recording of him speaking and even though we could hardly see him in the film, it really didn’t matter. Hearing his voice transported me back to a time when I was with him. It re-kindled memories of his laugh, his mannerisms and his personality – not just at the wedding but more generally. I realized that I didn’t just want to preserve my mother’s stories in a book, but I wanted to be able to hear her tell them in her own voice.
Finally, I have wondered how best to take care of interesting family memorabilia (a beautiful letter from my grandfather to my mother when she was 14, my mother’s QE2 ticket for passage to Europe after high school, black-and-white portraits of great-great grandparents, and so much more). These items, tucked away in my mother’s desk drawer, are likely to be lost over time (or transferred to someone else’s desk drawer) and are certainly under-appreciated even now. I wanted to find a way to preserve them and also make them accessible to my entire family – now and for generations to come.
Hence Audivi. A place where my mother’s stories and memories (and anyone else’s) can be heard and enjoyed.
Let the storytelling begin.