When the purging is unexpected


I’ve been in “purging” mode lately. Maybe it’s the warmer weather; maybe it’s more sunlight and the longer days bringing more energy, or maybe it’s just the spring cleaning thing that comes with the fresh, new season.

Today, however, I got some news about an unexpected purge.

Our older Mac had been having some problems lately; slowing down, problems connecting to the internet, and more recently, problems when I was trying to upload photos. I took it in to the repair place. They were going to take out the hard drive and deliver it to a place that specialized in accessing files and data from broken hard drives.

Phone call at lunch today: hard drive is scratched, they cannot retrieve anything from our old hard drive.

{Silence}   …..     Lump in my throat.

What?? I have never heard of anyone not being able to retrieve their data when their computer crashes. Not a one.

And yet, I am the one.

The one who didn’t back up. The one who discussed with her husband about external hard drive vs. cd’s. The one who never followed up on that coversation when it failed to produce a decision. The one who felt she never had time to burn cd’s full of pictures. The one who thought it was too much work.

On this hard drive were all the precious photos of children from birth on up. I know that we had backed up photos until about 2 years ago. But still, two years worth of photos – Dawson from age 4-6; the twins from age 2-4. Precious photos. Hilarious videos chronicling everyday life. Kids counting (or attempting to…), kids singing, kids screaming, laughing, playing, loving, enjoying, seeking, hoping, reading, sleeping…

On the phone the technician was explaining what they could do to repair our computer. I don’t think I heard a word. All I could think about were the photos: all the photo books I had never created for grandparents, for the kids to have; the photos I hadn’t printed; the photos unsent over e-mail to friends far away…

I felt my eyes well up and begin to spill over. I managed to keep it together until I was off the phone but then I lost my composure. The children in the kitchen watched me cry about the lost memories. I couldn’t stop the tears.

And all the work, the hours of work that I had put into downloading homeschooling resources, e-books, lapbook unit study plans, audio books, “how-to” manuals, curriculum lists, craft ideas, book list suggestions, website resource sites… all gone…. gone…


I’m searching for the grace in the situation. There must be some. I just can’t see it just yet for the tears welling up and threatening to spill over again.


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