“Do you want to back up the Time Machine?” Puzzled and distracted, I clicked “Yes”.
And with that tiny action by my finger on the mouse, I wiped out at least 12 years of memories we have, all that were saved onto the external hard disk. WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
Gone, all gone – our wedding photos, the kids’ photos, our old flat, our current flat, memories of our travels, the happy times, the journeys we have taken together, documents …
All that was left was my stupidity. I broke down. How could this have happened? I had painstakingly scanned each of the kids’ ultrasound scans, organised our memories into months and years. Smiled and cooed when I looked back at how much we have grown (older) together, how much the kids have grown.
All that was left now was a cold and empty black box, staring back at me, nonchalant about the gaping hole in my heart. I did ask you, it said to me, and you clicked yes. I was PC-trained; you connected me to a Mac. It wasn’t my fault you were not familiar with using a Mac, and it definitely wasn’t my fault you ended up formatting me without knowing and not backing up your Mac properly in the end. Every single word rang true; and struck more holes into my broken heart.
I didn’t have a back-up of the hard disk – what was gone was truly, truly gone. I had lost all the kids’ earliest memories, and it felt as if I had wiped out their existence. “Sorry, my child, Grandma lost all my photos. So I cannot remember nor show you how Daddy looks like when I was just a baby.” I could just imagine Matthew saying telling his child(ren) 20 years into the future. What have I done?
And to think I was so naïve to rely on digital storage to store all my memories when I grow old and only have 3 drawers of space for all my possessions. Now I know better, that memories are best stored at multiple places – in the mind, heart, hard copies, digital storage and time spent with the ones who matter in the present. Not behind the camera lens, nor in digital copies alone.
“Do you want to back up the Time Machine?” No. I do not want to back up the Time Machine. I want to go back in time to undo my silly mistake. I will never click “Yes” when in doubt, ever again. And I want to make multiple backups this time. Give me back my family’s memories please …