I think I was about 17 when text messaging became a major form of communication. I remember sending a few messages to my boyfriend at the time after which he asked me to please stop yelling at him.
My capslock was on and I didn’t know that when I sent a text that said: “MEET ME AFTER CLASS” it came across as a threat rather than a request.
We’ve come a long way with technology since then and now text messaging is one of the most common ways we interact with one another. For me text messaging and the importance of those messages became paramount when my best friend Lisa died in 2017.
Lisa was mostly deaf and, when we weren’t together, our main form of communication was through text. We had a lot of inside jokes and nicknames for each other so we often checked in with each other by asking “How are you today, Billy Idol?” or “Solving any mysteries this morning, Nancy?”
After she died I told my husband the only thing I wanted for Christmas was to make our texts into a book. Our conversations were one of the few things I had left of her. I thought "I can't be the only person who wants this."
Turns out the journey would take 2.5 years before I found a company that could do exactly that. Get ready for a saga - but don’t fret, it has a happy ending.
For Christmas the following year my amazing husband gave me a gift certificate for a company based in France. It was the first one he’d found that worked for iPhones. I downloaded their app to my computer but I immediately ran into trouble. I kept getting an error message and believed it might be because I had an older computer. I sent off a customer service email that didn’t receive a response for over a month which just asked if I had fixed the problem. To say I was frustrated would be an understatement.
Late last year I upgraded my computer and one of my first thoughts was “I finally get to make my book of texts with Lisa.”
So a few months ago I once again downloaded their software with high hopes of finally getting my book. Alas, you can probably guess this part but I once again had issues with their software and finally threw up my hands in defeat.
However, I refused to give up on my plan to hold our conversations in my hands.
I distinctly remember googling something along the lines of “book of texts creator for iPhone” and that’s when I found Keepster.
Keepster was founded by a wonderful woman, Jennifer, who also very unexpectedly lost her best friend. After that loss, she realized how important text message conversations are with those we love so she started out on a journey that would lead her to create Keepster.
When I finally found Keepster I was at my wit’s end. To be honest, I didn’t even read a review of their books before I ordered one. I would have paid a lot of money for something very mediocre just to hold onto my conversations with Lisa.
I downloaded their app to my computer and immediately had success loading the thread with Lisa’s texts. And for the first time since right after she died, I read them all. Even the texts she sent me the day she found out she was sick and the days following. It simultaneously broke and mended my heart to read her diagnosis in her own words.
My book came in the mail just a few weeks later and I was just so grateful to finally have our conversations in my hands. Opening the package and seeing her words in print was a relief and a rush of emotions.
I was amazed by the incredible quality of the book. I thought it might look like text bubbles - which didn’t particularly excite me - but instead, our words just read like a sweet written conversation between the two of us. The printing quality, the paper quality, all of it. I was blown away by the care taken to create this beautiful book.
And in that care, I felt they had honored my relationship with Lisa. They honored the words we wrote to each other and our bond with a beautifully crafted physical representation of our friendship.
What I think is wonderful about this company and this software is what a unique gift this could be for anyone - not just those of us who have lost someone close to us.
Imagine giving your best friend or partner a book of text messages that you've exchanged over the last 5-10 years. Beautiful moments captured, kind words to get you through the hard parts, and endless I love yous.
I am already planning a book of my husband Kevin's puns (pretty sure there is a whole book there!). As well as book of our most uplifting texts with another friend.
Luckily for all of us I am partnering with Keepster right now and they are offering our community a very kind discount. You can use the code: STEADY25 for 25% off up to 5 books.
If you make a book (or 5) please please please let me know about it! Let's be Keepster besties and keep celebrating the relationships we have in our lives right now!
I love you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it,