I bought a nice external hard drive for my computer last year. I figured it was a great spot to store all of my music (which is A LOT) and all of the pictures and videos I have taken over the years. It was a huge burden off of my computer and freed up a lot of hard drive space.


Everything was going great, until I realized this past weekend that I couldn't find it. I didn't panic at first, but as I found myself searching the same spots in my house over and over again, the panic began to set in. As it became more and more apparent that the hard drive was really, truly lost, a cold chill passed through my veins. It was the realization that all of those precious moments...the kids taking their first steps, the birthday parties, even shots from the maternity ward...were all missing. I was sick. My stomach was in knots trying to figure out how to get the courage to tell my wife. I've spent the past 5 days ripping apart the house...searching every drawer and closet...looking in places where it could be...should be...and otherwise. All the while trying to look casual so that my wife wouldn't find out...and then kill me. No luck.

Until today. I'll spare you the boring details, but after losing all hope the hard drive FINALLY turned up. I don't have the words to describe the feeling I had when I finally laid eyes on this small piece of technology that has been eluding me since Saturday. It was a strange mixture of pure joy, bewilderment, relief and disbelief...all at once.

Now, the moral to the story. BACKUP THOSE PRECIOUS PICTURES AND VIDEOS! This external hard drive cost about 100 dollars. I can't tell you how many times over the past 4 days I told myself that I would have GLADLY paid $100 NOT to feel that horrible, sick feeling in my stomach. It is well worth the money to make a backup of those precious moments. Trust me. You never want to feel the way I have over the past few days. And if, God forbid, you ever do...you may not be as lucky as I am to have another chance to make it right.

Michael Rock and his newborn daughter June 2005 (TSM)