On March 21, 2018 I was driving alone and lost in thoughts. My wife and I had recently discovered we were pregnant with twins and that day I was thinking about increasing my life insurance policy. As I debated the merits of leaving my children enough or too much money, and how to structure it if I did, I was struck with the harsh realization that what I would want to pass down to my kids more than anything wouldn’t be money, but lessons and ideologies, thoughts on life, love, marriage, hardship, sacrifice, success, money, my faith, and on embracing the challenges of life as opportunities. God willing, these and so many more topics will be breached over the next few decades of our relationship, but if I happen to exit this life before then, how would I ensure to get them communicated? Surely, I thought, there had to be some sort of app or service that existed to capture and deliver communication of this nature. After searching for an app and finding nothing, I retrofitted a journaling app to the purpose and shot my first quick clip. It was clunky and far from ideal, but I got the message captured and allowed the idea to marinate in my sub-conscience a bit.
A few days later, my brother and I found ourselves in a rarely experienced rough patch with our relationship, and as he left my home to drive to his, I had a moment of intense emotion as I realized if he or I were to get into an major accident we could have very well left our last communication as one of frustration and anger. I thought again of the post life video deliverly concept and wondered how many relationships ended tragically short and with plenty of unfinished business, and how many of the living might appreciate some loving words and resolution from their loved one.
Serendipitously, I saw a small example of just that a few days later when I stumbled upon an unwatched video of my late mother-in-law, Barb, who had died of Pancreatic Cancer a few years earlier. I remember trying to get her to film some videos for her children and grandchildren, but facing the camera wasn’t something she felt inclined to do in her mental, emotional, and physical state (and I certainly couldn’t blame her). I had managed to sneak some video of her here and there though and this particular video was of our oldest (1 at the time) eating dinner with Barb doing her grandma thing (baby talk, laughter, love). The video was like time travel and it was an emotional viewing that, once again, hammered into me the need for a better tool than what I could find to make more of those magic moments possible for all families, especially when they mattered most.
Although we have discovered and expanded the scope of Cherish massively in the time since, it originated with this “legacy” concept, and I still believe there may be nothing more magical than receiving a sentiment of acknowledgment, love and closure from a beloved family member who recently passed. The technology for everyone to have their own “P.S. I love you” experience already exists and has for some time: we just haven’t found a way to leverage the technology or embrace the concept. Not surprisingly, that singular idea has actualy been turned into a couple apps already, but the morbidity of the topic and the singular focus of those apps have likely been a restraint in marketing them. Expanding our technology to impact past, present AND future relationships, Cherish has evolved into a platform for deepening treasured relationships in so many more ways. As we continue to discover additional ways Cherish can deepen and strengthen relationships, it’s become clear that Cherish could very well end up being the most Meaningful App anyone has in their phone. It’s a digital space for intentionally and proactively sharing and preserving meaningful messages and memories that are meant to be cherished forever by you and your closest relationships. It’s a technology to provide a platform that inspires you to contribute more love and acknowledgement to those closest to you and a place for all of your most meaningful digital content to be curated and safeguarded in one singular location.
Amanda (my wife) recently told me that some people believe that concepts and ideas exist in the ether, landing with someone here and there, and staying long enough to give them a chance to turn the idea into reality. I can describe my relationship with Cherish similarly, having been struck with a relentless desire to explore the concept and then to turn it into a reality, discovering along the way that there are seemingly endless ways to leverage technology to deepen our most treasured relationships – certainly far more than what I had originally thought. Our team feels as though we are stewards of this technology and as the mission and scope of` Cherish become more clear, the inspiration to do what’s necessary to bring it to fruition is further cemented in our hearts. We only get 1 life to live and in the words of one of my favorite recording artists, Andy Grammar, “This is your masterpiece, don’t forget to dream, and taste the colors in the air you breathe, it’s your masterpiece, go ahead and feel it all- don’t stop until it’s beautiful.” One of the most exciting aspects of Cherish for our team is that as we begin to refine our digital space and embark on the pursuit of the first 100,000,000 hugs, we will be painting new layers on our canvases while simultaneously empowering and enabling countless others to add beauty, depth, and love to theirs.