It's been almost 13 years since Nick Ross saw the photos he and his wife Tiffany took while in Jamaica for their wedding.
They'd given up on ever seeing them ever again.
But thanks to a post on Reddit, they'll be seeing them in a few days.
Losing the photos
Before the pandemic, before Trump the politician, before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, back in the first few days of President Barack Obama, Nick and Tiffany decided to get married. They were two young adults who'd met at work, hit it off and spent all their time together.
At first, they started saving for a big wedding but decided to take a trip instead.
"My wife and I decided to elope to Jamaica," Nick tells Vancouver Is Awesome by phone. "Take all our money we'd saved for our wedding and blow it on one big trip."
It was April 2008 and SD cards were expensive; Nick had one for his PSP and video camera (which took photos), so they decided to just use that for their trip.
Throughout the trip, they took photos all over the resort, the Sandals in Ocho Rios. Luckily, during their wedding ceremony, they had photos taken, which they didn't lose. The card had pics of everything else, from their flight to the parts of the resort they enjoyed to all the little moments.
On the flight back to B.C. they swapped the card back into the PSP to play games. They got off the plane but before they left the airport they realized the PSP was missing and searched for it; they were even allowed back on the plane but the portable gaming system was gone.
"We'd basically written it off," Nick says. "For the past 12 years, it's just been something we accepted as the truth."
They moved on with life, never expecting the photo card or the special memories it held would ever show up again. They bought a house in Nanaimo, got a dog and have two young children now.
Then this weekend three familiar images popped up on r/Vancouver.
Finding the photos
In 2008 Allan Chan bought a PSP off Craiglist.
When he got the gaming console, the memory card was still in it, so Chan took a look at what was on it. He could see that the photos were taken at Sandals, and one of the photos even had the couple's first names, so he reached out to the resort in Jamaica.
"I emailed Sandals requesting if I could get the last names of one of their guests who stayed with them," Chan told Vancouver Is Awesome via email, adding that he could even specify the time period based on the date stamp on the photos. However, due to privacy reasons, Sandals wouldn't release that information to him.
Chan was stumped, but instead of getting rid of the card or wiping and using it for himself, he kept the Rosses' memories.
Fast forward a dozen years to January 2020; a posting on Facebook's Marketplace about a lost wallet reunited with its owner inspired Chan to try again to find Mr. and Mrs. Ross.
He posted on Marketplace himself about the memory card. Someone saw it and suggested Chan post it to Reddit as well.
Within a couple of hours, Nicholas was commenting.
"When I [found them] I felt as if this 13-year epic journey was finally complete," writes Chan.
It was a friend of the Rosses who spotted the photos online, messaging Tiffany that a couple of pictures had surfaced on Reddit.
"I swear my jaw dropped; if my jaw could have hit the floor like it does in the cartoons it would have," Nick says.
He's shocked, and very thankful, that Chan has had the card safe all this time.
"I'm singing his praises," Nick says. "It's such an unlikely thing to happen."
"I am eternally grateful for [Chan's] kindness," he adds. "For him wanting to hold on to it for so long."
Returning the photos
The photos are now on their way to Nick and Tiffany, tucked away in an envelope going from Vancouver to Nanaimo. The couple is shocked and delighted that such an important, but lost, part of their lives together is returning.
"He held on to it all this time; we got married in April of 2008 so it's been almost 13 years," Nick says. "That's crazy."
The photos are a time capsule of sorts for the couple; Nick describes it as "a totally different life."
"You're just like 'Wow, that's what we were like then.'"