Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Misty Watercolored Memories

(Sorry to put that song in your head, well not really because its been in mine for a while now.)

When we become new parents we take photo after photo of our children. We document their every move. Each new stage is greeted with a production worthy of a Hollywood movie. We need to record it. We want to preserve these moments for eternity.

Why do we do this? Is it so we can show our children, when they are older, what perfect angels they were? Is it so we can embarrass our children, when they are older, by showing their friends and dates all the cute bath pictures? Is it so we can, when they are older, remember that they were small and cute and loved us unconditionally, not just when they want the car? Is it so that we can, when we are older, remember that we were once young and had no clue what to do?

Whatever the reason we cherish these photos (and videos). But the advent of the digital camera has created a problem. Sure you can take tons more pictures and you don't have to wait a week to see them. You can download them to your computer and share them with friends (and virutal friends) around the world with just a click of a button.

But what about when the unthinkable happens? What if your computer hard drive crashes before you've had a chance to back up your photos? They are gone, gone, gone. Sure you could spend a few thousand dollars to try and recover the photos but there is no guarantee that it will work.

This horrible problem happened to me. My computer crashed last spring. I waited and waited to get it fixed thinking that someone could help me recover the photos. I had a year and a half worth of photos of Bunny there. My heart broke.

Sure I'd printed out a few, but not enough. I was also lucky that my father has taken a bazillionty photos of her since she's been home. So we do have a record of most of the major events. But I don't have that many pictures of our trip to China. The trip where we became a family. That killed me.

I blogged our trip in real time and posted a few pictures of each day there. Another family had sent us a disc with pictures of her. So that was something. But was it enough? Will she be upset or angry with me if I don't have a photographic record of the trip? Will the video, the blog recollections and the few pictures be enough? I just don't know.

So here I am still waiting to get the hard drive replaced. I am leaning more and more towards replacing it. We need to have that computer back. I know that is the right thing to do. But still I wonder, should I make another attempt to recover the photos?

What would you do in my situation?


Kari said...

Oh my gosh, I am SO sorry to hear about that. I'm so attached to the millions of pictures that I've taken of my kids, I can understand hanging on to the hope of recovering them.

But when I was reading this, I was thinking about the pictures I have of my childhood. As is probably the case with many people my age, they are few and far between compared to the massive digital library of practically every day of my kids' existence.

And you know something? The few pictures that I do have, are really special to me. There's this one picture of my Mom and Dad holding me as a baby - it's not exactly centered, my Mom is not even looking at the camera and my squishy baby face is squinting in the sunlight. I cherish that picture. I'm not so sure it would be so very special if it were just one of a thousand more like it.

So, it's probably easy for me to say from my end, not actually being in your situation - but I'd let go, and know that Bunny will hold those pictures you do have so dear to her heart, because of what they represent. Not because of how many or how perfect they are.

Anonymous said...

Ugh... . What would I do???? Umm, if money weren't an issue, I'd try to recover the pictures. Either way, I'd make a habit of putting all photos on disc or storing them someplace like Flickr or on a stand-alone hard drive so that it never happened again. (BTW, I do all 3 and try not to keep more than a months' worth of pictures on my computer at any given time.)

anymommy said...

Awful. But I know heartatpreschool is right. I cherish just a few beautiful, authentic pictures from my childhood. That wouldn't stop me from spending too much money trying to get them back though.

When you get your new hard drive, get a notebook. It's this little black box and it plugs into your computer and you can back up all of your files, pictures everything on it. It has a huge capacity. It has given my a lot of piece of mind!

Anonymous said...

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