Photographs are one of the most common ways we have of preserving precious memories of the important events in our lives. If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, then you surely know the importance of having something to preserve their image as a reminder of how they were in life.
Twelve years ago, Jane Fine Foster lost her father. But if that wasn’t bad enough in itself, her family’s luck then took a horrible turn for the worse after her mother missed a payment on a storage unit that was home to a number of family items, including old photos of Jane’s mother and father’s wedding day. When the owners of the Arizona storage facility decided to auction off the contents of the unit, Jane and her mother were distraught to learn that no longer would they be able to look upon those images nor share them with grandchildren and great grandchildren, losing an important piece of family history.
Jane’s mother died eight years later, leaving Jane with nothing to show from her parents’ past. That was, until one day when she happened to walk past an antique store in her hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado. When she looked in the store window she could not believe her eyes. Right there, in “A Robin’s Nest Antique Store”, were her mother and father’s wedding photos on display.
Jane could not believe her eyes. She looked again and confirmed that the photos were indeed those same precious family photos from 1948, with her mother and father staring right back at her.
“To say I was shocked, stunned, near paralyzed is an understatement,” Jane said. “I actually screamed out loud. … I just kept blinking and looking again, like, ‘Can that be? Of course, it can be. It was my mom.”
As the storage company had not even informed Jane and her family that they had auctioned the items from the storage unit, by the time that anyone realized that the photos were gone, it was too late to track them down. Initially Jane and her mother did make enquiries as to where the photos might have ended up, but each lead turned into a dead end. And now, here was Jane in a completely different state, staring at the photos of her parents on their wedding day.
Shane Allerheiligen, the store’s owner, was happy to discover the story of Jane’s family photos and produced one more surprise, leading Jane down to the basement of the store where he showed Jane the actual wedding dress that her mother was wearing in the photographs, still in its original box and even alongside a newspaper dated June 22nd 1948. Talk about a shock!
Jane asked how much it would be to buy the items back but Shane kindly refused to take payment.
“There is no price,” Shane said. “It’s made its way back to you. It’s home.”
It is still a mystery how the items went from Arizona to Colorado, but Jane is elated by this random encounter with these precious family heirlooms.