Dave and Erica couldn’t get wait to get married and start their lives together. Tragically, though, just days before their wedding, Erica was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma.
The couple went ahead with their wedding and enjoyed the time they had together, but sadly, Erica passed away the following year, leaving Dave a widower.
While they didn’t have long together, they made the most of the time they did have and Dave treasured the photos he had of the two of them – more than 300 – which he kept stored on Erica’s camera.
About a year later, though, burglars raided Dave’s home, stealing jewelry, electronics, and, most devastatingly, Erica’s camera.
“It just didn’t seem fair because after all that we went through, to lose those, it was like a punch in the gut,” Dave said. He didn’t think he would ever see those pictures again.
But one year later, something happened that left Dave floored.
Police had been investigating an unrelated burglary and found receipts for several items that had been hocked at a local pawn shop. When they showed up at the shop, they discovered a camera among the items and, while there was no contact information on it, after scrolling through the pictures and seeing images of a wedding and a funeral, they knew it had significant meaning and they wanted to do what they could to return the camera to its rightful owner.
As they went through the pictures they noticed a familiar wall and tree in one of the shots and drove to the neighborhood where they knew it had been taken. That’s when they saw Dave and recognized him from the pictures.
When police first told Dave they had found the camera, he didn’t believe them; but when he saw its special strap, which Erica had made, he knew it was her camera.
As painful as some of those memories may be, Dave is grateful to have the camera back so he can relive the short – but beautiful – time he had with his young bride.