I have just received the most amazing gift because of a series of computer malfunctions.
It started when my computer monitor died. They got me a new, really large replacement which is great because I do a lot of detailed mapping and it is much easier on my eyes. Then my computer died. And they got me a spanking new, super fast, top of the line graphics card, model. But because it was such a new model, some of my older peripherals no longer worked with it. One was my large format printer which is used to print very large maps. A replacement is about $9,000 and I think it will be cheaper just to send large maps out to a professional printer. The other was my scanner. And once again, they bought me a really nice model.
I was reading the manual for the scanner and mentioned to Martha that it would convert negatives and slides to pictures and bemoaning and mourning that I have next to no pictures of my young self, or my parents or anyone else before my life with Martha.
For those relatively new to my blog, this is because after college, my then girlfriend, Daphne, and I were brutally raped and assaulted. She had been long been estranged from her parents because of her sexuality, but they did come and get her from the hospital to provide her the long term care she would require. They also came with a van and packed up the entire contents of our apartment, either not knowing that Daphne did not live alone, or more likely, punishing me for being complicit in their daughter’s life style and attack. Either way, I wound up losing almost everything I owned, much of which was replaceable but also so many irreplacement things like photo albums and gifts and mementos.
My father always took pictures and had them produced as slides. I can remember nights watching those slides and then playing hand shadows in the light of the projector. Such wonderful memories, both in the slides themselves and the fun of watching them as a family. But years and years ago, when my mother was de-cluttering, my brother took all the carousels of slides and so they were lost to me forever.
Anyway, Martha then said “don’t you remember, there are a bunch of your father’s slides up in the attic.” What? Apparently after my father died my mother had found a box of loose slides and Martha took them. But since we never had a projector, they wound up being relegated to the attic and forgotten.
I am now working on scanning these slides (about 200) into photos on this amazing new machine. I have no idea why they were not cataloged with the rest. Perhaps they were the rejects because the slides I have are often oddly colored or not well composed. They are random in time and place.
Still, happy tears are flowing as each slide comes alive on my computer screen. Aunts, uncles and grandparents long gone, vacations and Christmases together, neighborhood friends and childhood achievements. It is amazing to see these unfold now before my eyes. So much of my life was lost. And now, in these pictures, so many of the memories have been found. I am truly overwhelmed.
I have always tried to be grateful for the small and lovely gifts the universe gives me. But this time the universe has literally given me a gift of a lifetime.