Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What Has Been Stored Away Is Found Again

I have this email account that I NEVER check. Every time I get around to sorting through it, there are 2000+ unchecked emails in there. Now, this sounds like more than it is; because every time I sign up for something online or pay for something that requires an active email, I use this account. It then sends all updates for that thing I don't care about to that address and if you don't open them enough, they'll eventually just send right to spam anyhow. Regardless, I do only check it once every 3-4 months and try and trim it back to a reasonable size. For some reason, though, every once in a while I go digging through the older emails to get a bit of the ol' nostalgia.

Today was one of those days. I dug through old emails about planning road trips, weekends at the cottage, bitchy downstairs neighbours and a whole host of other things from a previous portion of my life. The very first one I actually opened, however, was an email about a day I remember very clearly. The letter was the last of a string of emails and read like this:

OK...I'll call your cell phone - look forward to seeing you then. Have a good weekend in London town :o) 

xx Mom

My mom had been having back pains for a couple weeks and when I had seen her for lunch a few weeks before she had also had some trouble getting her food down. In the interim I had been doing a lot of background thinking worrying about what that meant and if it had any relation to the cancer she had battled several years before. I'm not claiming to be some sort of Seer here, it's just that I'm a hypochondriac and one that also projects it outward to those I care about as well.

However, this email had me in higher spirits and I went about said trip to 'London town' and headed back by train to be picked up for a lunch and some shopping with my mother (and perhaps Joe, my stepfather as well) at the station, as planned. When I got out of the station, I located their car and headed across the street. As I got closer, the door opened and out of the driver's seat came Joe and not my mom. My heart sank as Joe told me the pain was keeping her from getting out of bed and we'd have to postpone the shopping trip. That outing never happened and my mom never got up out of bed with any real meaning again.

So here I was, many years later, staring at an email I probably haven't looked at since that day. An email that marked a real turning point in my life and triggered the beginning of a long, turbulent ride. I wasn't even thinking of her before I checked my email - quite frankly I just did it out of sheer ennui, the whole family was either napping or in another room. Clicking on that one email led to opening a whole slew of emails and I quickly found myself re-living memories in a strange order, where one minute I was reading about fun things that involved my mom (or not) and the next minute I was reading condolences to do with her sickness or passing. It was very interesting and dug up several feelings and memories I hadn't thought about in a long time.

I can't decide if it's a good thing to keep these emails or not. I do find it comforting to have a hard copy of something I know she wrote herself, as long as I only visit them every so often.
I am thankful for this experience and mostly that it happened now, a time when I might not think about her as often as I once did and at the same time can view these things without it being overwhelmingly sad. Thank goodness I am some degree of an email hoarder (though not with newer emails - I do have a weird thing where I don't trust the address book and keep one email from everyone in my inbox in case I need to contact them at a later date. This add-on is way too long for brackets.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this one, Toby. A simple but very moving story. Makes me wonder what's lurking in my archives...