It was about 8 AM on a lazy Sunday morning, when I was woken up by a sudden loud ringing of my phone. Slightly irritated, with my eyes still closed, I moved my hand around trying to pick up the phone from the bedside table.
By the time, I picked up the phone and slowly opened my eyes, the ringing had stopped.
The screen read, “Dad: 6 missed calls”.
I was panicking a bit as I tried to call back.
He picked up on the first ring, as he probably still had the phone in his hand.
“Dad, are you and Mom OK?” I asked, trying to keep my anxiety in check.
“Yeah, yeah. We’re absolutely fine”, Dad said. “I just called you to ask if there is a way to undo if I deleted some images and messages from WhatsApp. I think I deleted all my birthday greetings and messages from my phone while clearing out those junk forwards, last week.”
It was Dad’s 60th birthday last December, and we had made plans to have a big bash.
But my elder brother got an opportunity to go to the US on deputation, just 2 months before Dad’s birthday which he couldn’t refuse and our sister said she could not make it, as her semester exams had been rescheduled.
With all the plans for the bash watered down, we tried to cheer Dad up by getting together on a virtual call on Zoom while he cut his favorite Pineapple Cake.
Dad was cheerful throughout the day even though he missed his two children who were abroad, but I guess I was trying to make up for that. Many of his friends from college and his old workplace had sent him some lovely messages and old pictures, which brought back memories and made him a little emotional.
I now realized why he was so upset about having accidentally deleted those messages and memories. He was mournful about his folly and reminisced about the good old days when they used to preserve greeting cards for years.
He still treasures a birthday card that Mom had sent him, a couple of months before they were to get married. It is his prized possession and proudly showed it to us once in a while.
How I wish I could bring back those precious messages and pictures on his phone, and make him smile.
How I wish, we had used a digital greeting card for his birthday and got all his near and dear ones pen down their thoughts and wishes into it so that he could have it with him, his entire lifetime.
In this incident, I learned a valuable lesson.
Memories are too precious to be left on a messenger app on your phone. It’s so easy to set up an e-greeting card and send it to your loved one. They’ll absolutely love it, and will never lose it, even by mistake.