I spilled coffee on my MacBook Pro. The scream of pure terror, regret, and irritation at my own clumsiness was desperate, loud, and bone chilling. I cried. I got sick to my stomach. I felt the physical stress resulting in headaches, visual disturbances, jaw clenching, and tense muscles. The hours leading up to discovering what damage I’d caused were excruciating.
Yes, it’s only a computer. No, it wasn’t a family member that I maimed with my Sunday cup of hot coffee laden with wonderful vanilla cream and honey. But, in a very real way, it was my life. My photos, videos, manuscripts, e-mail, ancestry records–all of it.
That was last week, and when everything dried out and the damage could be assessed, my beloved electronic gadget still worked. I could still connect to Wi-Fi. My keyboard, while sluggish at first, burst into life and followed the commands of my fingers. My photos were still intact. My videos were still there. The only thing gone was a fried bluetooth module. We weren’t near an Apple store, so I would need to work around the issue until we could get it fixed.
Until today, when I realized my photos weren’t transferring over to my computer and I would need to do it manually. Just sync them, right? I did that. Between the transfer of my iPhone to my MacBook Pro, the ‘electronic’ brains ganged up on me and decided on their own what photos they wanted saved and what ones they wanted in Never-Never Land. I lost at least half of my photos, if not more.
I have blog posts to write with planned pictures to go along with them. I was going to write one today about meeting with another blogger couple who Mike and I recently met for dinner. I had lovely sunrise photos of a cold and foggy Michigan morning that are all gone. I took pictures of my dad and stepmother for a future post about them. We photographed a beautiful Fireman’s Memorial I planned to write about in honor to the first responders all across our nation who picked up everything and volunteered to help in the Texas floods. Those photos are gone.
I can live with this, truly, I can (I keep telling myself). It’s not the end of the world and I will adjust and come up with a solution. I can adapt and survive–I may not be happy about it, but I will do it. Blogs without photos will have to be okay.
It brought to mind how everything as we know it can disappear in a moment. My digital life is nothing compared to people who have lost their homes, their livelihood, family members, and sense of security. My struggles are nothing compared to those who fight for their ability to survive or fight to regain what they’ve lost.
It put things in perspective for me, of course. It made me embarrassed for being so upset over something that, in reality, isn’t that important. The loss of data reminded me that memories are forever in my heart, cherished moments with family are always a part of me, and to be fully present in every single adventure. All of the data is still there where it matters–it’s filed away on a permanent hard drive that makes me who I am.
The floods in Texas have put perspective in the hearts of many. Watching the way everyday people have become heroes has been inspiring. So many first responders from all over the country dropped everything to assist. Other states have sent help with gas, oil, etc. Churches and private organizations have donated food, personal items, clothing, etc. Carpenters, builders, and other talented workers have signed up for the rebuilding. It’s nothing short of remarkable how the simple act of helping our neighbors lessens the overwhelming burden of recovery.
Our hearts and prayers (and donations) continue to go out to everyone dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
With prayers, gratitude, and admiration,
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