Text Messages

by Peggy Green of Thee Grief Specialist

Text Messages

Technology – great when it works and tough when it doesn’t. My phone that I bought after Connor died was having issues. I didn’t plug  it in one night and the next morning it would not take a charge. I put the charger into several different outlets thinking it was something with the power. That wasn’t it. I changed cables, I changed the block to no avail. The phone turned on then would immediately turn off.

I took it to the repair shop, and they thought it was a simple issue, easy fix. I left my phone with them and waited for them to email me that the repair was completed. Several hours later, I received an email to call – there was additional things they needed to talk about. I went to my neighbors and borrowed her phone. The repair shop told me it was not the battery but  possible that the connection on the phone itself was also an issue, costing me more money.  In addition, my phone was maxed out on storage which was causing the phone to not work as it was supposed to.

I was at a crossroad. Do I repair the phone and still have issues with storage or buy a new phone? There was not a guarantee that the phone would work well even after investing in the repairs. If I bought a new phone, would I stay with Android or move to an iPhone? I love my Android. I have used it for years. I don’t have anything against iPhones. If I changed operating systems, it would require me to learn an entirely new phone,  which takes time. To top it off, the battery the repair shop put in my phone had limited power which meant if I was going to change phones and transfer data, there was  insufficient power to install the data transfer app. I would need to do everything manually.

I decided to buy a new phone and had my daughter join me so she could help. As we sat in the repair shop with my dying old phone and my bright new shiny one, we desperately fought against time and the dying battery. We thought some things were already backed up on Google, so we just needed to verify they were. I had to scramble to confirm my passwords, which were stored on an app on my old phone which took more power.

I had a lot of apps on my old phone, organized in folders. Our strategy was to write down the apps as quickly as possible then install them on the new one phone. Several times the old phone started to fade, and I was afraid we would not finish. The brightness kept dimming and it became increasingly difficult to see what was on the screen. Our strategy worked – my old apps were downloaded onto my new phone.

I realized though that the text messages did not transfer. I had years’ worth of text messages, from my daughters and my son. I occasionally went back and looked at Connor’s messages, especially when I was missing him. They kept him alive with the “I Love You’s”, being called Madre and his final text to me. All gone. There was not anyway to transfer the texts – it is something that does not happen. This broke my heart. Sitting in the repair shop, the tears started rolling down my cheeks. Another piece of my son gone.

I desperately started taking screen shots of his messages. These pictures would automatically upload, and I could still see the texts. When I realized that the battery would die before I captured over 4 years of messages, I stopped. My daughter sat next to me and hugged me. She reminded me that she went through the same thing when she changed phones and that she was at peace with it. She told me that I would come to peace with it as well. She is right. I will accept this has happened

She was so wise in her words. I appreciated her wisdom. It means so much to me to have my daughter support me in times of need. I did not expect that I would be changing phones when I woke up that day. Who would have known that changing phones would cause a wave of sadness and grief? Grief still sneaks in after almost 4 years.

I kept my old phone. It is stored in my cedar chest with birthday cards, kids baby clothes and other memorabilia. If I really want to see and read Connor’s text messages again, I can have the phone repaired. Just knowing they are available, at some point, if needed is comforting.  It is said that people do not remember you for what you did but for how they made you feel. I am forever grateful that Connor made me feel loved and appreciated. I will remember that long after those text messages have been forgotten.

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#acceptance