What Matters Most

So a little time has passed, and with it some of the horribly angry feelings I wrote about here.  Your supportive comments were like balm on those wounds, proving once again that writing is good therapy, but so is the counsel of wise friends.

I’m back online, with a brand new MacBook Pro, purchased in a wild spending spree yesterday that probably has more than a little bit to do with my improved outlook.  Nothing like spending someone else’s money to make you feel better.  My dear husband keeps reminding me that we’ve been paying our insurance company premiums for over 34 years in order to reap these benefits.  That is certainly true, and I’m definitely appreciative.

In addition to the  (somewhat surprising) angry reaction I experienced, there has come a depth of awareness about what matters most in situations of loss.  I reckon you all won’t be a bit surprised to learn that the despair  I’ve felt hasn’t been about the loss of possessions themselves, for those are easily replaced.  The despair comes from the loss of those irreplaceable things that meant more to me than the items themselves.  My pictures, my documents, everything I’ve ever written since I began using a computer decades ago, including poems, essays, stories, and the manuscripts of two novels.   None of it was valuable to anyone but me, and the senselessness of stealing it makes the loss even more painful.  It was all diligently copied onto a small external expansion drive, just in case  my computer crashed or was lost or damaged during my travels.

Never did I imagine that someone would break into my home and steal not only the laptop, but the expansion drive as well, something that’s worth about a buck (if that) on the open market, but priceless to me.

When I first heard the news about the robbery I was at work, and my mind flashed onto an image of the necklace I had left lying on the dresser earlier that morning.  It’s a diamond pendant, a setting of my mother’s engagement ring.  I wear it nearly every day, but on that particular day had decided to wear something different, and, in my usual rush, had left it on lying on the dresser.

“My necklace – is my necklace on the dresser?” I implored my husband, who was wandering the house looking to see what was missing.

“Your diamond necklace is there – is that the one you mean?”

“Oh yes,” I gasped gratefully. “That’s the one.”

The things that matter most.

Priceless indeed.  The advertising guru’s who created that familiar Master Card campaign were right on the money with that concept.  There is so much in life that money can’t buy – much of it has to do with our experiences and the ways commemorate them.

A lot of those priceless objects were stolen from me Monday afternoon, but thankfully, not all of them.

And to paraphrase another recent advertising slogan – I’m not too worried, because I will make more.

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7 thoughts on “What Matters Most

  1. I’m sick about the loss of your writing, and glad your necklace is safe. And that you and your husband are also safe.

    I hate to wish bad things on people, even when they do terrible things, but, umm, maybe a little consequence would do them good.

  2. Hi, Becca — Been off blog for a couple of days so just read both your posts. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about the theft. And anger? Well — duh! You’re right — no one has the right to come into anyone’s home and take things that have been earned by the owner. No one. And I think your neighbor may be a bit of an angel, having shown up at (almost) exactly the right time — enough time to let them leave your necklace.

    I’d like to think that someone will find the computer, but even so, chances are likely that it will have been cleaned, and I feel the pain of losing the photos and your writing. Those really are irreplaceable. I always worry about that — losing the photos, especially. But as you said, yes. You will make more.

    Still, I’m so sorry this has to be part of your world right now.

  3. I also think I’d miss my pictures mostly. I also diligently always double copy them on hard drive and on a external hard drive, but have been wondering too what happens if there’s a fire in the house or in case of robbery like you experienced.

    the thought of storing an external HDD at a different location has crossed my mind but I usually dismiss it again as being far fatched…yet now you make me doubt again. I would really miss all the memories that pictures hold.

  4. Not sure if everyone knows, or is comfortable with this method, but in addition to backing everything up, I upload my most important writing to google docs. That way I can access it anywhere that I can get online and carry on working on whatever writing I have “up” there.
    It’s free, it’s web-based and is one more place to store writing. With my photos, I also store them on Picasa and a few on flickr. I have to admit that I haven’t been as consistent with doing this as I should be. Your story is reminding me to get on top of it. Hope this info is helpful.
    Glad you’re feeling a little better…
    Best,
    Colleen Friesen
    http://www.colleenfriesen.com/blog

  5. Two manuscripts? I can hardly believe it. I’m angry on your behalf. I can’t believe that such work and commitment has been taken from you. Like Colleen, I need to stop putting it off, and store my photos on Picasa or flickr. What am I waiting for?
    Bella

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