What Happened to me Lately?

Folks who have been following me probably realize that I was devastated when my mom passed away six months ago.

Our bond was just so strong and the memories of how my mom suffered and how she cared for us will remain forever.

The first few months were spent in organizing the cremation and burial of my mom next to my dad, requiem masses and sorting out the will and the estate.

I prepared a memorial blog of her which housed some 260 photos taken at various times of her life. As a result of this preparation, I sort of re-lived her life and refreshed my memories about her kindness.

Then we went on a trip to Xian to visit the Terracotta site and the steepest mountain HuaShan in China.

The trip didn’t help, at home I was more occupied. On the trip, there were many quiet moments when I was left to myself and I sank back to my grief.

Back home, two things happened to me.

Firstly, I damaged my external hard diskette with all my travel photos which I didn’t back up for the last 1.5 years.

I clumsily dropped my external hard disk on the floor as I pulled out the connection to the PC.  I was rushing out to meet an old classmate from the States whom I haven’t met for over 40 years!

I took the HD to an expert who is able to recover the data after some weeks – with the exception of one photo!

He charged me approximately  USD 500 for the recovery. It was costly, but this saves my effort of rescanning all my mom’s photos, editing them and classifying them and all my researches on Chinese Calligraphy with all the classifications, not to say my travel photos.

That really teaches me that I have to be disciplined in backing up data ( I am still thinking what is the best way to do this).IMG_4956

Losing all the files, I resorted to convert some of my previous photos to HDR images using a free software. This explains why you have been seeing my HDR images recently.

Starting almost two decades ago, after each trip,  I have the habit of choosing the travel photos I like, blow them up to approximately A4 size and mount them up on black card boards. I was thinking that, one day, I will have a private exhibition of my photos. Those were the days when I insisted on taking film pictures and not electronic images. Unfortunately, I am a lousy keeper and lost the negatives.

The good news is that I have just recovered around 100 card board mounted photos from my mom’s home when I cleared her flat. She keeps everything, even my kindergarten report cards. Thank you mom!

The photo here was taken in Furano, Hokkaido, Japan in the Summer. This is one of the photos which I have never published as I did not have any electronic images and the negatives were lost. All I am doing is to photograph the card board mounted photo and upload it here.

There will be more of these coming!





60 thoughts on “What Happened to me Lately?

  1. Condolence to your family Micheal. 😑 and sorry to hear about your destroyed/unsaved files😐and nice to hear the good news. I think all moms keep everything (pics, report cards, artworks, etc.) coz I do the same for my kids esp their cute letters ❤

    • Because my PC is aged and got hacked by Ransomware, I resort to external hard disk. Unfortunately, I was too clumsy when unplugging it, causing the damage. Thanks for the advice anyway 🙏

    • Another thing you can do is open a DropBox account (for free, until you surpass memory/storage allotted) and justsave your photos there. It helps to create separate folders so you can easily retrieve photos. Hope this helps.

  2. Your experience with your hard drive should remind us all to backup. Consider another external drive with automatic backup software. (I do backup, but I do it manually to an external drive.) Try to enjoy the memories that your pictures bring to you. I’m sure that many of them represent good times that you shared with your mother either as they happened or afterwards as you talked to her.

    • I do my back ups manually and now have a pair of identical external hard disks so that I can back up one onto the others which I also do manually.
      There were a lot of pictures taken with mom which I really treasure!

  3. I understand how difficult it is to lose someone you hold so dear. I am sorry for your loss.

    Your photos are always so beautiful, especially the recent series of flowers for your mom. Thank you for sharing them, and her, with us all.

    • I don’t think we ever really get over losing someone we care about so deeply. But you get used to the absence. I really feel that our hearts have more holes as we age and lose loved ones.

      I have probably already shared this song with you before, but it gives me so much comfort:

  4. So sorry Michael, a loss that like stays within us, and my feeling is there is no “getting over it” a person just learns to live with it and eventually as the years pass the loss is not as raw as it had been. But still a loss, which changes us. I back up to an external hard drive and also pay a fee to back up with Crash Plan online, if needed I can restore from there.

    • Very true, there is no getting over it, we must learn how to live with it. With time, the memories will not be as strong and the details are blurred.
      Counselling is of not much use. i am re-structuring my life and will live positively – something which my mom would like to see.
      Thanks so much for the information on the Crash Plan, I will look into it.
      Regards, Michael

  5. Hi Michael:

    Sorry about your ordeal of your external disk. I have been using online albums all these years. Remember there was Kodak before? When it closed down, I lost all my travel pictures which were filed in the Kodak website. I do have CDs made by friends of those travel photos, but it was still a loss. Nowadays I am using Shutterfly, and google photos which automatically save all my iPhone photos. As I don’t have good cameras like you, I am ok with my current online storage.

    I am so sorry to hear that you still miss your mother so much that you did not fully enjoy your travels. I hope you would move on. I look forward to seeing your exhibition some day! I recently realized a few of my former classmates are talented artists with exhibitions of their art work in HK.

    Perhaps I haven’t said Happy New Year as I was traveling and have not been active in blogging for a while. I wish you a wonderful 2018 and a happy and healthy year of the Dog!


    • I lost negatives, the old hard 4R copies just fade away as time passes by, I lost electronic images through PC failure.
      It was unexpected when my PC was hacked and I was demanded a ransom for opening of the encrypted files that they did not encrypt the photos.
      I found that slides are easy to keep, I still keep those. I kept A4 size photos with them mounted on cardboards, they are still with me.
      I know I have to move on, but then this is not something I can force myself. Before retirement, I was thinking of having a small exhibition of my photos in the company but it didn’t happen. In any case, my photos aren’t that good, so that’s OK.
      A happy and healthy Year of the Dog to you as well, Denise. I am glad that you write 🙂

    • Hi Michael: Your photos are great. We are lucky that you shared with us. I did not do any blogging these days but I did see your posts. I just returned from Thailand. It was amazingly religious not only in Buddhism but Hinduism as well. I was now more educated that the Thais who are mostly Buddhists, also worshipped the Hindu gods as well. What a good learning experience! I think if you treat your trips and photography as learning experiences, perhaps you will enjoy them more. Your mother would love to see that you are a happy good fellow!


    • I like buying experience than buying material stuff; that’s why I have been travelling. Thailand is a place I like, will visit there more often as it is a short flight from here. My mom has a lot of praise for me in her diary; I am sure she knows I know what is good for myself 🙂

    • She wouldn’t like to throw things away; everything to her is precious. I am glad that she retains the many photos I kept in her place, Regards, Michael

    • Hi Charlotte, it is indeed a difficult time for me. There is now a hole in my heart, it will be there forever. I have to believe that she is in a better place where there is no pain or suffering and she ‘s now probably an angel in heaven. Time heals, I will get on with my life. Blogging is one of my ways to lessen the grief.
      Thanks very much for your kind thoughts 🙂

    • That’s interesting.
      I am using a Windows PC, but with all data on two identical external hard disks. I used to back up one disk onto the other, but the process is slow and consume a lot of storage. Do you have any suggestion how to go about this? Many thanks, Michael

  6. I am sorry for your loss, I love looking at your photos and your travel escapades. I recently got back home as well, my mom had a fall accident and needed a hip replacement. I am retiring and looking forward to be with her soon.T
    Thanks for sharing.

    • I am sorry to hear your mom’s fall.
      Retirement is the best time to spend more time with the parents, make them feel comfortable and pamper them – you will not regret that you have done it.

  7. Hadn’t we mentioned before the need for double back-up? Remember when I erased one back-up? And managed to retrieve 98%…
    So, double back up NOW.
    And a word of advice my brother: go for a long trip. Now. With your wife. Far, far away. It will help you better than anything else.
    (Our trip to Asia was very good in that respect)

  8. Michael, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I caregave to my mom for 9 years and miss her so much. Don’t run away from the grief. Let it happen. I was in a 3 year grief cycle when my son was killed. You’ll go through it whether you want to or not. Take care. Photography is an excellent diversion and healing element.

    • Hi Anne, thanks for the kind advice.
      Some friends thought I have been grieving too much – to me, I just let time heals – I cannot accelerate or decelerate my grief.
      You must be strong, caregave for 9 years, I only did 3 years – but would be happy to caregive if my mom survives!

  9. There’s no time limit to grieving. All I know is that you can’t suppress it; you have to go through it. But you can dwell on her love and happy memories. Good luck and keep taking pictures!

  10. Oh Michael, your current post just linked to this one which I hadn’t seen before. I’m so sorry that you lost your mother such a short time ago. It takes a long time to heal from this, I know. Both my parents are gone – for quite some years now. It’s a wrench.

    Did you sort your problems with backing up? I was without my pc for a couple of months when it crashed and I had to send it away to be repaired. Since then what I’ve been doing is popping a flashdrive into the USB socket on the computer every single time I make any changes to an existing file or start a new one, then after a week or two, I put all the stuff from the flashdrive onto an external one. (I should really back that up, as well.) This way I’m not scared of losing anything.

    • Hi Val, thanks for writing to me.
      Think mom will always be in my heart.
      My parents are now gone.
      I have suffered from both ransomware and accidental dropping of my external hard diskette.
      Now I have two external hard diskettes onto which I would back up my stuff on a more regular basis or when some major addition / alteration is made to my data.
      I am now happy to have a new PC / monitor / Router too. Hope this will be good for some time.
      Regards, Michael

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey and your heart messages. I could feel for your loss but it sounds like you have so many good memories of your Mum and also she kept everything precious for you!

    • Thanks very much for writing to me with your kind thoughts.
      Her one year anniversary is coming up in two days and I can’t help feeling sentimental about it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.