Inspirational Stories

November 02, 2021

Poor Woman Finds Old Camera Lost in Ocean, Hidden Photos Are Revealed — Story of the Day

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A poor woman goes scuba diving one day and surfaces with an old camera she found in the ocean; it contained hidden photos that changed her life. 

It was a sunny weekend in Tampa, Florida, a perfect time to hit the pool or the beaches. Mary Beth was one of the many people who chose to visit the beach. 

She was an elementary school teacher married to a firefighter. Her passion was teaching kids, but her hobby had nothing to do with the classroom. 

A poor woman found an old camera while scuba diving at the beach | Source: Shutterstock

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Mary enjoyed swimming, but even more than that, she loved to snorkel. Her drawer at home was always filled with fine stones and unusual sea shells she picked in her diving sessions. 

When she left home that sunny weekend, Mary had no idea what she would find on her expedition, but that was part of the excitement for her — not knowing. 

She arrived at the beach to find it as lively as always; there were some people she knew among the crowd, but she had her mind on one thing, and that was finding a less populated part of the beach to do her thing. 

Mary found a less populated part of the beach to do her thing | Source: Pexels

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It took her almost 20 minutes, but she finally found a spot where she did not have to worry about bothering surfers or swimmers with her diving. 

It took her a minute to get on her breathing gear before going underwater, seeing clearly through her goggles and marveling at the peace and beauty of the ocean. 

As she slowly inspected her surroundings, Mary caught sight of a dull glint in the sand some meters away from her. It claimed her attention, and she swam towards it, wondering what it could be. 

"It can't be a seashell, they don't grow this big," she thought. "A stone then?" 

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As she got closer to the object, Mary realized it was not a stone but a rusty old camera. At her discovery, she excitedly ditched her snorkeling activities and headed home. 

As she got closer to the object, Mary realized it was not a stone but a rusty old camera | Source: Pixabay

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"Guess what I found today," an excited Mary told her husband, Steve, as soon as she entered their home. 

"What is it this time honey?" he asked fondly, used to her. 

"It's an old camera, Steve. Look!" she answered as she handed it over to him.

"A camera huh?" he asked. "It looks really busted though, I doubt it will still work." 

"I know it looks like that but we can never tell," Mary told him. "Let's just try, okay?" 

"Okay sweetheart, but I need you to promise that you're going to discard it if it doesn't," Steve said. 

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Mary agreed. "I'd like to know the secrets it holds. Did someone lose it? Was it thrown out? I'd just like to know and the photos can help," she said.

Mary agreed with Steve to discard the camera if it didn't work anymore | Source: Shutterstock

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Steve did not quite understand why his wife was suddenly so fixated on the old camera, but that did not stop him from going to an electronics store to get it repaired. 

"Can I have this fixed?" he asked the employee manning the counter. 

The man, whose name tag identified him as John, was a chubby-looking man who looked like a cliche nerd with his owl-like glasses. He took the camera from Steve and, upon a thorough examination, gasped. 

"Anything wrong?" Steve asked. 

"This camera is a retro device many photographers would kill to have among their collection. I'll be sure to get it fixed sir, thank you for giving me such a privilege," John said. 

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Steve waited more than an hour to get the camera back, but it was worth it because he had come through on his promise to his wife. 

After dinner, the two lovebirds sat down to go through some of the pictures on the camera. The first picture they saw was of an old man posing with a younger woman in a wheelchair. 

Mary talked to Steve about wanting to return the camera to the true owner | Source: Pexels

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The couple posed in front of the famous Abraham Lincoln statue, which made it easy for Steve and Mary to figure out which state and city the shot was taken. 

"I want to return it," Mary said when she and her husband lay down to sleep that day. 

"The thought has crossed my mind as well," Steve said. "The IT guy who fixed it said it is a vintage model many would love to own and I think it's best to return it to the owner."

"Up for a road trip?" Mary asked him. 

"Lord knows we are long overdue," he said. 

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That following weekend, the couple traveled across the country to Washington, and there they met the same lady whose picture they saw on the camera.

She had grown old with age and was in a wheelchair, but those years seemed to melt off her when she saw the repaired camera. 

The woman, who introduced herself as Agnes, thanked them with tears in her eyes as she told them about the camera's origins. 

The couple went on a road trip, traveling across the country to Washington to meet the lady whose picture they saw in the camera | Source: Pexels

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"This camera was the soul of my husband, Terence," Agnes said. "He died a long time ago while he was off filming in the wilderness. You have returned a part of him to me and I will be forever grateful to you for that. 

"Terrence lost the camera back when we traveled to Florida and he was devastated because of the many pictures it contained. Now that you have returned it, this is an opportunity to see those photos sold." 

After concluding their visit to Agnes and accomplishing what they set out there for, Steve and Mary spent a day in Washington to visit the tourist attractions before heading back home.  

Two weeks later, they received cash via mail along with a note from Agnes. It read: 

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"That camera on its own is worth thousands of dollars but you were kind enough to bring it to me and for that I am grateful. I was able to sell some of Terrence's photos and I know he would have wanted to reward your kindness, so here are some proceeds from the sale. I hope to see you guys again." 

Mary and Steve were astounded by Agnes' generosity and later spent Thanksgiving with the older woman. 

Mary and Steve were astounded by Agnes' generosity and spent Thanksgiving with the older woman | Source: Pexels

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What did we learn from this story?

  • Be kind; it never goes unnoticed. Mary and Steve could have truly kept that camera to themselves, especially after discovering how precious it was; however, they did not. Instead, they had it fixed and returned it to its rightful owner, not because of what they hoped to get in return, which is why it shocked them to receive a gift of gratitude from Agnes. 
  • Marriage will only work when two become one. If Steve had refused to help his wife get the camera fixed, they never would have found what they did. If he did not agree to join her on the expedition to return it, things could have gotten weird between them. Luckily, that didn't happen, and that's because they were always on the same page. 

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Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them. 

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who helped fix his grandma's phone only to find unexpected pictures in it.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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