Saturday, July 19, 2014

Whew...that was close...

A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I had an address she needed. Sure I did. I just needed to look it up real quick.

And thus started the great freak-out of 2014.

See our network drive crashed a few months ago. Which was no big deal because we have another drive that mirrors it. Just bought a new drive, transferred the back up, badda bing, badda boom, no problems. Until I went to find that address and discovered that the documents file wasn't there. No addresses, no copies of letters, no back up of old things we had kept. Dang it.

So we dug back out the old drive that had crashed and I took it in to our computer guys, Happy Hamsters, who have fixed laptops and drives for me in the past. And crossed my fingers. They ran a few tests in their "Free 10 minute evaluation" and found that it wasn't going to be simple and more extensive searching would need to be done to recover anything. If they could. And time is money, bayyyybee... Okay he didn't say it like that but he did let me know that it wouldn't be cheap. Which left me with a moment to decide what to do. 

I've gone back and forth with sending out the Christmas letter anymore. C is grown and doing his own thing, we don't move as often as we used to. Life is pretty settled so I had been thinking about stopping it anyway. This would be the perfect excuse to do so. And as far as other documents what was really on there that we needed? Back ups of things on my laptop, for me, but I would just back them up again someplace else. And what else...and then I remembered. I sent Brent a quick text, "Do you have your dad's book anyplace else?"

Yep, the book Jack was writing while he was in Afghanistan was on that drive. And nowhere else.

So that answered the question of paying to have it recovered. "Yes, please, do your best."

And they found it. And recovered it. And transferred it all on to a working drive. Whew...

Now I need to read it.

See I've put off reading it since he died. Cowardice. That's one reason. I have a really strong voice in my writing and I have been worried that Jack did as well. I know he did when sending notes or emails, so I was worried that opening that file and starting to read that book I would be "hearing" my father-in-law. And for a long time I wasn't ready. First because of how cheated we felt losing him so early. Then because we lost my dad as well and it was too much. But now, well now I know I need to get to it. I don't want to miss my chance to read what he wrote. To see that side of him. 

The other reason is that it still makes me a little angry that he was writing. That he wanted to be a writer. See years and years ago when C was little, like 2 or 3 maybe, I first explored the idea of writing. And my in-laws discouraged me. Hard. "Everyone thinks they can write." "Writing is very difficult." "What makes you think you can do this?""Most people who write are not very good at it." "There is a big difference between liking to read and being able to write."


So I never talked to them about writing again. And it took a long time before I thought about it as a viable thing for me to do. I kept hearing "Everyone thinks they can write" echo in my head. Because it is sort of true. A lot of people think they can write. Or have a great book they are "writing", really just thinking about, or a really clever blog that you should read. Or a book that uses taint in the title and they have NO IDEA why that's freaking hilarious!

And writing is difficult. When I do a fiction piece if it's a small quick one I put up here on the blog or a longer one that I stress over and edit and re-edit and change and rearrange and try to get just so, either way it's something I made. Just me. And putting it out there in the world for other people to read, it's scary. Each and every time. Because sometimes it does suck. Because writing is very difficult. 

They weren't wrong. But finding out that Jack was writing, that he wanted to write? In a way it felt like a small betrayal. How could he have told me not to pursue something that he himself wanted to do? Why would he do that? My only guess is that someone had discouraged him along the way. And that the times he had tried his hand at writing he had discovered how difficult it can be. That he was trying to share that wisdom with me, but just did it badly. Crushed the plant before it really had a chance to take root.

But the good news is we both decided to give it a try. He was doing something he wanted to do and I will get a chance to read what he wrote. The bad news is he didn't get a chance to finish his book. Because he waited to try. And we never know just how long we have to finish.

The other good news is if I hate it we don't have to have that awkward conversation...

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