Last night I was going through the recovered files from a crashed hard drive. I was able to save all the old iTunes tracks and some archived photos. Everything else, so far, has been nothing but digital junk and deletions and temporary Internet files from ages ago.
And then, nested in one of the folders of one of the digital drives…
I found two pictures. Two pictures that were a fleeting part of my history.
In 1966, one of my aunts-in-law participated in her Bat Mitzvah. She went to the altar and read a passage from the Torah, and the family celebrated. Of the pictures I found, one showed her and her family at the time – which included my ex-wife Vicki’s parents – and the other picture showed a small message sign on the synagogue wall, announcing that she would read the services at shul that day.
A little more digging… and I found three more pictures. They were of Vicki and her mother at her mother’s retirement party (her mother was a librarian at the Junior College of Albany for many years).
Five pictures that somehow survived a hard drive crash. I didn’t even remember acquiring these pictures; perhaps they came from a time when I was trying to scan in carousels of old Kodachrome slides that I found in our basement; perhaps someone mailed these pictures to me and I simply stored them away for another time. I don’t know.
But the one thing I did know is that I had these five photos.
I certainly didn’t need them.
And at that point in time, I had three options.
- I could have hit the <DELETE> key and made the pictures go away.
- I could have stuffed the pictures back into the hard drive.
- I could have turned the pictures into goofy Internet online memes.
And in the end, I chose Option D.
I moved all five photos into a pair of e-mails… and I sent them to my ex-wife. “Found these,” I wrote in the e-mail. “I thought you should have them.” She sent an e-mail back to me a day later and thanked me for finding the pictures, she didn’t have them before and she would make sure to distribute all the pictures to her family.
I mean, realistically, that’s all you can do. No matter what happens in this world, you only get one trip through it. And if you can do something nice each day, without expecting anything in return…
Then you should do it. Without question.
You just do what’s right.
And in the end… doing the right thing is the only thing that matters in this world.