Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Before & After: A Restoration Story

Let me get a little personal...
In 2006 my brother was diagnosed with cancer. His tumor was located in an area where it could not be removed surgically so radiation and chemo were his only treatment options. Because they had to replace surgery rather than enhance it, my brother's treatments were intense and debilitating; his battle was difficult. It also happens that he lives far enough away that I don't see him very often. Another brother was "appointed" the supportive sibling so as not to overwhelm Jim with visitors. We are seven children. While I understood that this was the best way for Jim and his family, it left me feeling helpless. I kept wishing I could just hug him. Instead I sent that message along through other channels and prayed.

The good news is that Jim's cancer is now in remission and his prognosis is excellent. In celebration of his victory, Jim hosted Thanksgiving dinner at his house this past November. While sitting in his living room, I noticed his baby picture on display. I remembered it from our childhood when Mom used to display it, but I was surprised by how badly faded and damaged it had become. Jim's not that old! But then I believe the photo was done by a bargain basement door to door salesman. I actually remember my Mom turning one away once! (Did I just date myself? LOL) Anyway to get back to the story, I am a photo retoucher and restorer, and this job not only looked interesting but it immediately appealed to me as a nice gift that I could surprise my brother with. My way of saying, I am glad he is alive. So I asked my sister-in-law if I took it home with me to scan and restore, would Jim notice the photo was missing. She thought it unlikely he would notice, so while Jim was busy elsewhere I wrapped up the photo and put it in my bag.

Now as I mentioned before I don't get to see Jim that often and I wanted to give him his new photo in person rather than mail it to him. Well it took a few months, but I recently presented Jim with his surprise. His response was more than I had anticipated. He was deeply touched and I felt wonderful to be able to touch him so. He had never noticed the photo missing but one of his daughter's exclaimed, "I'd wondered what had happened to that!"

When my Mom saw the new photo, she joked, "Jim can't have it anymore. I want it back." Oh, the beauty of digital, I easily made another copy so now they both have it.

Here is the before and after...




I share this story to remind us, scrapbooking is not just a fun hobby because photographs are so much more than just pictures.

1 comment:

Sue C said...

THAT is incredible!!! Hard to believe that you can restore it that well - I would've thought it was unsalvageable! You've given me hope - I have some of those bargain-basement photos. (I believe I just dated myself, too!) Beautiful work, and what a touching story and gift...