When Nancy Tatarka from San Ramon, California was planning the 80th birthday party for her mother, Patricia, she could not have imagined how her family’s life would soon be turning upside down.
Online PR News – 06-September-2012 – Libertyville, IL – When Nancy Tatarka from San Ramon, California was planning the 80th birthday party for her mother, Patricia, she could not have imagined how her family’s life would soon be turning upside down. In fact, three people - Nancy’s father, her very close friend Kathy, and her sister (also named Kathy) all passed away within a two week span from January 1st to January 12th, 2012.
Nancy’s sister learned that she had cancer right before the party, and her father died unexpectedly of kidney failure after her mom’s 80th birthday celebration. He and his wife Pat had been married for 63 years. “My father’s death paved the way for my sister,” said Nancy. "I think she held on for my father.”
Nancy is one of 5 children. Her sister Kathy had just turned 60 in 2011 and was diagnosed with cancer a month later. So, Nancy was not only planning for her mother’s 80th birthday, but also trying to help her family get through an extraordinarily difficult time. In addition to her sister’s illness, her father became sick and was in and out of the hospital due to kidney problems. When interviewed in June, 2012, Nancy said, “Since I am in California, I have been back to my home town, Cleveland over five times in the last year to assist my family. My entire focus for the last year has been them. Four months ago, I couldn’t have talked to you about this – it would have been too difficult.”
Although a time of extreme sadness, Nancy drew strength from a gift she had purchased for her mother’s birthday that helped with her connection to both her sister Kathy and her friend Kathy. A gift called LifeOnRecord that had preserved the phoned-in voices of both Kathy's. “You never know when a voice will be silenced. You can never replicate a voice - once it’s gone it’s gone,” said Nancy. “I don’t have any saved voicemails with my sister. The importance of these recordings is huge.”
In all the commotion of what was going on, Nancy didn’t have the time to request her keepsake CD from LifeOnRecord that had the recordings with the birthday wishes and memories on them. Instead, she played the recordings for her mother from her computer on the day after the birthday. As her mother’s 81st birthday approached in 2012, she decided to contact LifeOnRecord to see if the recordings still existed. “I thought all was lost,” said Kathy. “The thing that is most difficult for me is not hearing them speak. I am so glad I did this because you never know what life will bring you – I just wish my father’s voice was on there as well.”
The company did have the recordings and re-opened Nancy’s account so she could invite more people to call in for her mother’s 81st birthday. “Had I not done this, I wouldn’t have the voice of my very good friend, and sister. It will be a comfort to my sister’s kids and her grandkids.” In fact, four generations called in for Pat’s birthday CD. “It has great grand-children, grand children, children, and parents,” said Nancy. “The act of creating the recordings was special in itself – it gave us memories of making memories.”
Nancy plans not just on listening to and sharing the recordings, but to incorporate the recordings along with the song “Patricia” by Perry Como into a video for her mother. “With all the technology we have, we underestimate the power of voice. I had no idea I’d lose them the first two weeks of the year,” said Nancy. “If anyone has any hesitations of whether they should go ahead and capture the voices of friends and family, they should just do it. Little did I know how much impact this would have.”
With a simple toll-free call, LifeOnRecord lets friends and family record their well-wishes, congratulations, gratitude, encouragement, and words of support to create a one-of-a-kind gift.