So yesterday was apparently the day that everything was supposed to crash, technologically speaking, at least.
My phone crashed in the afternoon, and in order to get it to work again, I had to restore it from a backup, and the last backup I did was in February. Thankfully, right after we returned from Maui, so at least those pics were all saved, but no pics beyond the ones of the hpt I took on the day after we got back. I had some momentary panic, as I always do when threatened with losing digital information, it's almost like I will lose some part of me, never to be recovered.
About 8 years ago, I lost all the digital photos from the first two years of my relationship with E. My computer had crashed and I couldn't recover the photos. All gone. I have to rely on my memory to recreate those first two years, as there are no visual aids anymore. Our first camping trip, our first trip to the snow, our foray into becoming pet-parents and adopting Oliver the wonderdog...all the photographic evidence gone. And most of the time, I'm pretty good at remembering, at least I have been, but I still panic. It's like in losing the photographs, I lose so much of the memories as well. I've gotten better about backing up media, but I'm still not great. And I still panic at the thought of losing even a few months of mundane photos. Really, the last three months of photos? Not much on there but my dogs snuggling and perhaps a few that document a slight growth of my belly; but I was still in a panic. But I got over it, and was pretty much recovered in an hour or so.
They're just photos. And a few downloaded songs. Just a silly loss.
Nothing will bring Otis back, Sarah. Nothing can change history.
Then E got home from work, and he was in his office when he started swearing.
His computer and external hard drive were having "issues."
I let them be - I've learned not to interfere in their domestic quarrels.
But after an hour or so, I peeked my head in and asked if I could be of assistance. E was almost hyperventilating. "I think I lost all my photos. All my music. I don't care so much about the music, but my photos..."
E is the photographer of the two of us. He takes all the pictures while I complain about him taking them; and then am thankful in retrospect that he's documented all of our experiences and adventures.
He took about 100 photos while I was in labor (mind you, remember, I was in labor for three days) and many in the days preceding my labor, while I was hugely hugely pregnant.
I too started to get very scared, thinking that perhaps they were all gone, and they are one of our only remaining connections to Otis (thankfully my BFF, who is also a professional photographer, took many of Otis in the hospital and she has all of those as well...) But my whole entire pregnancy...poof...no record of it...just like that.
I started to get worried too. And angry. And sad.
But then we found the photo library. It was there, hiding on the hard drive. Crisis averted. Or so I thought.
See, there are a bunch of photos that E had taken that I had never seen before. And last night, they caught my eye, and while I knew I didn't have it in me to go through them, there were still a bunch that I couldn't help but to see before I got up and out of his office. There I was, though, sitting on the birth ball, 40 weeks pregnant, begging Otis to drop, to get the party started...Getting out of the car at the hospital...Getting settled into my hospital room. In every picture, I have this glowing, exhausted, blissfully innocent and expectant smile on my face. I am HUGE. That's as close as we got to you, Otis, while you were still alive.
He was still alive then, I kept thinking. He was there, we were ready, he was there. Kicking. Heart beating. With us.
It's almost as if he's more apparent in those pictures than in the ones we have of us holding his actual body, after his heart stopped beating, in the hospital room with us. Because in these photos, he was alive. Our hopes were still alive. Our expectations. Our dreams. Our firstborn. Our baby boy.
So loved, so missed.
I sobbed myself to sleep last night, I haven't cried like that in months. I barely recognize the woman in the photographs...she looked so...young, so hopeful, so innocent, so expectant, so excited, so joyful, so loving...so...happy. And Otis, he was right there. So close. So fucking close.