For the last 15 or so years there has been a roll of 110 film in the refrigerator at my parents’ house. It survived 3 moves and never quite got developed even though ever other roll of film from the last 20 years did. The 110 film came from an old toy camera I had as a child. It looked like a panda… well, mostly it was black and white and plastic-y. Since I got back to the states I’ve been playing with my mom’s old Minolta, a film camera from 1983 (I think). So, I’d amassed a few rolls that needed to be developed.
I knew I needed to find a place that still developed 110. We didn’t know what was there, and any memory of what might have been on it was lost at least 10 years ago. I was nervous about what was on that roll.
I knew I had taken it, as the film was from my camera.
I knew it had been taken when my mom was still alive.
I didn’t know what to expect.
I kept putting off developing the film because I didn’t want to know that there weren’t pictures of my mom on there, forgotten and almost lost.
Last week I sent in the film. There were a bunch of blurry pictures of wild animals (from Wild Life Safari) taken from a moving car.
and then one lone photo of me and my cousins on the back of an elephant. It’s just as blurry, but I remember that moment when it was taken – I’m the only one looking at the camera (in case you can’t tell, I’m the blond one). I was looking for my mom, who took the photo.
So, I didn’t find what I had been secretly hoping for, but I did find this: a memory. We don’t always find what we expect to find or hope to find. But that’s okay, sometimes what we find is just as good or better than what we imagined.