Earlier this year, when I was in South Africa, I was sitting with my mom, talking, when she mentioned that she had been cleaning out some more of my dad’s things (on the 28th it will be six years since he passed away, and on the 1st of May it will be his birthday) and had come across a couple of his cameras. Film, of course, not digital.
‘I’d love to see them,’ I said.
I guess I had hoped they would be worth keeping, if not as collectables then at least as vintage items, but they (there were two of them) were just point-and-shoots, a Fuji and a Pentax, with some degree of manual control, and both were damaged. There were tacky bits of sticking plaster, holding parts of one together.
My dad had long before had to sell his Canon SLRs, needed the money.
Ah,’ I said, disappointed – and then I looked again, more closely.
‘Both of these seem to have films in them. You should get them developed – there’s probably nothing there, not after all this time, but you never know. There might be something special – even one image would be worth it.’
I spoke to my mom this morning, on the phone. ‘I’ve something to tell you,’ she said. ‘I’ve had those films developed, as you told me to, and there are six or seven lovely pictures – a lovely one of you, photos of Jonathan and Eve, and Kathy.’
She sounded quite emotional.
I guess both of us could feel it. My dad had reached out from the grave, and touched us.