I have been sick this week, completely knocked off my feet by a random case of strep throat. We're down to the final stretch of school, and for the sake of not letting things deteriorate into total chaos, I've had to muster the energy to keep the troops motivated and on task despite the fever and the fireworks that went off each time I swallowed. For a variety of reasons, this just made me feel very, very blue.
Before we knew it was strep, quickly and easily treated with a round of antibiotics, I envisioned two weeks of misery as the sore throat turned into a runny nose and cough and all that. And considering that this month is the one in which we celebrate Father's Day, Thirteen Years of Wedded Bliss, and Benjamin's birthday, the thought of being sick right now was downright depressing. Toss in the fact that due to illness I had to miss the "Volunteer Appreciation Tea" at the boys' school (at which the teachers and admins treat us behind the scenes, hardworking parents to food, drink, and goodies) and the depression gave way to tears (which doesn't help a sore throat).
But the worst thing, the thing made every single other thing look like a mere crack in the sidewalk next to the Grand Canyon of worst things, was that it appeared all my emails from the past eight years got gobbled up by the Hard Drive Disaster of '09. This may seem like a small thing, but when I was a new mom, living in Japan, or in Northern California away from everyone I knew and loved, email was my lifeline to the people I cared about.
There were near-weekly emails to two of my sisters-in-law, Heather and Heidi which were like a round-robin of sisterly woe and support as we shared back and forth about our kids and their developmental stages. And during our time living in Hong Kong when I kept a public website of our goings on, I also emailed to two of my closest girlfriends all the behind-the-scenes stories, not cheery enough to make it into a public forum. It was raw, and generally not pretty, but it was my life.
As a writer, words are so important to me. And I saved all of these words I wrote, the bare emotion, the funny antics, the good, the bad, and the ugly as a way to document and remember what life with my babies and toddlers were like. I didn't keep a baby book for either of them, but I did send out an email when Nathan sat on his own the first time, or when I was discouraged about the news from Ben's latest appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. And the thought of the loss of all these words, fresh in the moment, was absolutely devastating.
I read recently about how Marie Osmond is a faithful journal keeper, and how a few years ago her garage and office caught fire and burned to the ground taking with it all her decades of daily journaling. I found myself crying (in the waiting room of the eye doctor) because that kind of loss is so devastating to someone who takes the time to write down their daily thoughts, hopes, dreams, failures and disappointments. So to find myself in a similar predicament (although thankfully there was no fire in our case) just brought me as low as a girl could go, especially one as sick as myself.
After laying out my bitter disappointment, my brilliant husband stepped in and searched through the rescued data like a fireman sifting through the ashes. After quite a bit of poking around, he finally found this very important treasure of eight years worth of words, restored them to my computer and backed them up to our newly installed network storage device. And while I will give credit to the computer doctor as well, my husband is truly my hero. Particularly because it drives him a bit crazy that I save all these emails to begin with!
Thank you Michael for rescuing eight years worth of our children's history and the record of our daily life. I am so very, very grateful!