Sunday, November 9, 2008
This past week, I have had the pleasure to restore several photo's of my family and several for a friend. I wish I could explain the feeling it gives me to restore a photograph of someone that is no longer with us. When I complete a photograph for someone It gives me a sence of being part of keeping their spirit alive and in the present.
I feel that our loved ones stay close to us even after death and in restoring a picture some how I play a part in keeping that spirit close. Maybe....It's knowing that that person or the memory that that picture brings to the forefront isn't forgotten.
I believe that my passion for doing genealogy and wanting to restore photos for people came from an experience my family had when my Uncle was recovered from Vietnam. I feel that I need to tell the story behind my interest in finding my family and my interest in photography and photo restoration so that people can understand why I do this.
I have an Uncle that died in Vietnam (May 10, 1967) before I was born, he was considered MIA, until 2005. I grew up hearing stoies of him from my mom and my aunt and always wondered if he was really gone. I had always had a sence that he was still around us. April 2004, I found the Vietnam Memorial Wall Page and saw where a friend had left a message. That message triggered me to start looking for other friends of his. I had no idea, until almost a year later that there was a team in Vietnam that same week that I made my first contact with his friend Frank Morrelli, that his remains and the remains of his comrades that died with him were being recovered. From the start of my first contact until I had information leaked to me that his remains had been found, I felt like my Uncle Mac was with me guiding me to find more information. When we found out that indeed his remains had been recovered, I knew that even though I did not know him in life, he was using me to prepare my family for his coming home. He and his comrades were laid to rest 38 years later on the anniversary of their deaths in Arlington National Cemetery.
This was the most awesome experience for me. I felt a part of my uncle's life, I was finding his friends and hearing stories of his life. I was part of keeping his spirit alive. I will never forget the people I met and the things I got to participate in because of my Uncle Mac. I made a scrapbook for him to remember him and carried the incomplete book with me to Washington, I had no idea how I was going to complete some of the pages for that album until a friend of his gave me a photo to complete a page and the pictures taken there helped to complete this book. Every picture told a story.
Take care of your pictures & Don't forget the stories!