When it happened, I didn’t think a thing of it… but there sitting in front of the screen it started sinking in. At first it was a gasp and a flurry of rationalizing and calculating, but soon my mind lost all hope and fell to quick heavy sobs.
My pictures are… gone.
One trip over the cord, and three foot fall to the tile… is apparently death to a hard drive. Destruction to three years of photos, and whatever else was stored there in the wait to replace a dying computer.
Eric came to my side and tried to find what I could not… and tried to soothe my tears by reminding me of the beautiful album full of Africa, and the four discs of photos lying on the table- nevermind the thousands that my mother has. In all fairness, he didn’t know that I have already lost a disk of Africa, and that this was a second loss. Between gasps of breath tears I choked out I… know. And the body racking sobs set in again as I flipped through photo CD’s… 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007… Why did I trust a contraption of metal and plastic to have the sole hold on 2008, 2009, 2010? At least I had just finished uploading some of 2010 to print…
Camden slipped into the kitchen and quietly spoke Mom, memories are more important than pictures. And while my whole self knows this, the wisdom of an almost-fourteen year old boy left me to cry another river. I… need… to… be… alone.
And I was.
With a lip stuck out in a pout worthy of any two-year-old, hands clenched around the glass of water that Eric wanted me to drink, and an ache so deep down in my chest. When there was not a single tear left, I moped out to the couch and dug my hands into the soft fleece blanket and curled into myself, hoping the feelings would pass.
This morning, as I put my arms around my son for our start-of-the day hug, I told him how smart he was. That yes, photos are certainly not as important as people.
Or memories, Mom.
Yes, Cam… or memories. But they are my hold on the past… I want to always remember what your face looked like when you started middle school, during your first concert, when you turned 13. You are growing up… changing everyday, and a Mama takes pictures to preserve the days that pass too quickly.
I could feel the moisture beginning to build up behind my eyes, and maybe he could feel their presence. He stood on his toes next to me, impressed with the fact that he will tower over me, perhaps before the end of this year… and I laughed.
He gets it… and his Mama?
Well, somewhere deep inside I do. But I find myself stuck in the sadness of it, so often skipping the moment so that I can document it, knowing that I can then return to it at my leisure, and again & again.
So in my prayers that the photo files can be recovered (is this a silly prayer?) I hope also that the memories will be recovered and etched upon my soul.
Sharing this on a Tuesday... the mess of me, and the wisdom of him.