All I know to do is wait. Wait, pray, ask for help, and hold these feelings.
I messed up on the computer. It means my pictures, documents, and files may be lost.
I have a saving place, but I have not backed up anything in a year or more. I planned on waiting until I’d finished this manuscript before backing everything up. I finished the manuscript several days ago. I did not back it up. Saved in the computer, but no back-up.
I was waiting for the final edit.
You know how a house fire can take everything? We may be talking about my computer swallowing whatever I had stored there.
Programs, gone too. Unbelievable that I clicked a button that deleted programs like Word and Email. Like a burning house.
I was a professional counselor for 20 years. I know one big loss can infect a whole life.
I don’t want to become peppered with this loss. It is important for me to stay straight: this is about losing my photos and my work in the computer. It is not about losing me. Not about losing my heart or relationships.
Not to minimize the loss, but not to maximize it either. I can see it may take a sea of white coats to fix the problem if it can be fixed.
Meanwhile, I am grieving because I clicked the wrong button. My fault.
It spills over on my husband, though. He mulls over what he can do to help me, how to fix this new problem. And he is not high-tech either. This puzzle is over both of our heads.
It’s not a question of needing a new computer or new bones. It’s more like where to cut, which bones need to be sawed first. It’s all layered in fog, rolling in every morning now.
No one is in pain or vomiting. It’s not like that. More like quiet grief when you learn your friend had an accident. He must have surgery, and you feel the sadness as you wait to see if he is going to make it or not.
To cope, I do exactly what I did when I had breast cancer. I talk to God about it, edit poems on paper and intently watch nature - the rain falling and daffodils inching their way out of the ground, robins hopping.
Over and over, I give it to Jesus. Why over and over? Because I keep taking it back! It’s like when you fall over and over and you keep getting up, again, again, again.
Reality: I control so little. All of us have our falls, brokenness, mess-ups. No one is immune.
My pastor says, “If you are not in the middle of a storm, you are about to go in one or come out of one.”
Sometimes we just have to wait to see what happens next. (That’s where I am now, breathing and waiting.)
I have a hole in the canvas, but I’m working hard to focus on the bigger picture and not get bogged down. I may have to change a plan or two, but daffodils will still bloom.
No one can show me the future, but God knows where this is going.
The kid inside me wants to send my computer a Get Well Soon card. I laugh at the thought.
The adult in me drove into town yesterday. While there, I signed up for computer classes at the library. Always, I have felt less than adequate with a computer.
Saturday Evening Post. I didn’t know it was still being printed. I pick it up and turn to an article on Norman Rockwell, the famous American painter. His studio burned down with his private collection and other paintings! I am stunned.
I read on. Norman Rockwell went back to painting the way Peter and the other disciples went back to fishing after Christ died on the cross. People grieve and go on. (With God’s help, I will keep on writing, no matter the outcome of the computer.)
If you talk to God off and on all day, know He watches over you, and accept that Jesus suffered and died for your sins, then you have faith, too. God helps us go on.
My editor wants to take a look at my computer. Hallelujah! She is a gentle soul. And she knows best like a good surgeon.
I know all organs and bones cannot be mended, but I’m glad for God putting her in my life, for her graciousness and willingness to explore options.
Meanwhile, like with any surgery, sickness, mess up, the world is going on, going by, going home.
Lastly, I am grateful for my husband’s old, on-its-last-leg laptop.
Blessings to each of you,
P. S. My goal is to help the broken, the real, strugglers like myself. Appreciate your Shares and comments (below the storm photo.)
Photo of stormy sky taken in Jonesboro, Arkansas, by Pat Durmon. 1999.