Mom Shocked When Son Replaces 20-Year-Old Discontinued Kitchen Clock Radio: 'Soundtrack of Our Lives' (Exclusive)

Lorelei Bachman was touched by the special gesture from her adult son

<p>Lorelei Bachman/TikTok</p> Lorelai and her 2001 clock radio (left), Lorelai

Lorelei Bachman/TikTok

Lorelai and her 2001 clock radio (left), Lorelai's "new" GE Spacemaker
  • A Canadian mom was getting ready to part with a beloved kitchen appliance

  • Lorelai Bachman tells PEOPLE her since-discontinued GE Spacemaker CD/FM/AM Player had been "the soundtrack to our lives" for over two decades

  • Lorelei was completely shocked when her son surprised her with a like-new replacement, the exact same as the unit she was first gifted in 2001

One mom had no idea how much an appliance in her kitchen meant to her until she was faced with getting rid of it.

Lorelei Bachman, a mom of five, was the proud owner of a GE Spacemaker CD/FM/AM Player that lived under the microwave in her kitchen for over two decades.

"The GE Spacemaker was given to me as a gift. A family member, who came to visit from the States back in 2001, gifted it to me. I installed it in my kitchen under my microwave, and for about 20 years, it has been the soundtrack of our lives," Lorelei tells PEOPLE.

"When my kids were little, I would bathe them in the kitchen sink, or when I would take them out of their high chair, we would have music on. I would listen to the morning news on it. When they had little birthday parties, we played CDs on it, and it was just the backdrop of our lives for the whole 20 years," she recalls.

There are some fond memories involving the appliance that stand out to the mom.

"I have five children and when they were little, they decided they wanted to have a luau in the living room. So we went to the dollar store and got hula skirts and leis. I used the broom handle and put the limbo soundtrack in the Spacemaker, and we did the Limbo Rock and played the 'Lime in the Coconut' song. We just had so many fun memories like that."

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After two decades of family fun, the unit wasn't in perfect condition, "But it still worked," Lorelei says.

"It was discolored. There's a little button on it for bass boost that would short out, so that didn't work properly. But it still played CDs! I even played CDs at Christmas when my kids came home last year. The radio was starting to go, though. Sometimes, you'd push the button, and it would turn on; sometimes, it wouldn't. But it had been in constant use for over 20 years."

It was during the holiday season that Lorelei was coming to terms with the appliance slowly breaking.

"It was just after the new year and I was thinking, 'I've got to take this thing out. It's shorting out. It's discolored. It looks really bad in the kitchen,' but I didn't say anything to my kids."

Lorelei didn't know that her oldest son had a "total surprise" in store for her.

"My oldest son and daughter, they live out on the west coast. My son called me and said, 'Mom, I got you a Christmas present, but I'm still working on it, so please be patient,' " she recalls.

"January, February, March goes by and I didn't ask him about it. I didn't think anything of it. I never made the connection. And then he came home to visit and he says, 'So I have your present. It's either going to be a real hit or a total flop because I don't know if you'll even want it, but I think it will make you really happy.' "

Lorelei burst into tears as she opened her like-new GE Spacemaker. "One of my other kids was there and they said, 'Oh, I guess it's a hit,' " she laughs.

"I said, 'How did you know? Where did you find one?' Because I've been combing online for quite a while. I've looked on eBay, but people want an outrageous amount for them and you don't know if they'll work properly."

Lorelei learned her kids were thrifting together when they made the discovery. At the time, the unit was yellow, but otherwise like new. Luckily, Lorelei's son knew just how to bring it back to life.

"He took everything apart, so everything looked wonderful in it, but he had to do a process called retro-brightening of it, where you mix hydrogen peroxide, and you make a little solution and use a UV lamp. He had to do that for a couple of days, with the UV lamp on it, and then it took all that yellowing out of it," she explains.

"To me, it looked brand new when I pulled it out of the box. I asked, 'Did someone never use this?' And he said somebody used it, but very briefly and then just put it in a box."

The moment was really meaningful for Lorelei, who decided to share the story on TikTok, where it amassed nearly 2 million views.

"People don't realize that as your kids grow up and they're in early adulthood, they have a lot of feedback for you about what kind of parent you were. You have to weather that until they get a little older and start understanding what it means to be a parent and to do your best," she says.

"The fact that my two oldest kids were able to look at that and connect to a memory and say 'This meant a lot to us, it would mean a lot to Mom,' it was just the most lovely thing for me. It was the most rewarding thing as a parent."

She continues, "I think people need to remember, there's no shame in not having the newest thing. These little joys can still happen with old appliances or older cars or things like that. And it's okay to live on a budget and to hang on to things as long as you can."

Lorelei was touched that so many moms had memories with their family and the same radio.

"I was so happy that day that I thought, 'I wonder if anybody else remembers these, I'm gonna make a post about this,' thinking nothing of it. It went viral very quickly and that weekend, I sat and tried to go through all of the comments — there were thousands," she shares.

"My heart, as a mother, was so touched because so many moms especially had memories tied to those machines. Many of them were their grandparents — one of them said, 'My grandpa raised me and he would listen all through the winter for which days were snow days on that radio.' A lot of people had memories of dancing with their children with them, so it was really touching."

She also has the perfect response for naysayers who suggested moving on to more modern technology.

"I think they lost the plot. They didn't understand that the best things in life aren't things. They are memories, and I believe that sometimes we have things that hitchhike on those memories and they bring it back," she says.

Of the company, she adds , "I don't think GE has any idea how much this line meant to people."

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