NIP LOST A PORTABLE COMPUTER
About two weeks ago, I learned that cousin Adeline
would visit the Bay area again in May 2002.
Adeline was a professional writer and a painter.
I was anxious to see her since I had not seen her since last autumn when
she accompanied her son, Rudi Chow, to enroll in the Foothill College in Los
Altos, CA. I was also worried about
her health since she had an operation in Hong Kong only two weeks before the
trip. I was not sure if she
suffered from any residual effects of the operation.
I arranged to pick her up from Uncle Benjamin¡¯s home to take her to
Rudi¡¯s apartment in Mountain View. I
hoped that we could do some shopping and then have dinner that evening.
After I arrived at Uncle Benjamin¡¯s home, we
chatted a little. Adeline gave me
two copies of a book that she wrote to be delivered to a friend and a relative.
We were then ready to leave for Mountain View.
Due to a childhood disease and malpractice by the surgeons who operated
on her, Adeline walked with pain and difficulties.
Adeline¡¯s condition worsened over last year as the bone dislocation got
more severe. The whole of her lower
body was misaligned. She was
contemplating a hip replacement operation in the near future.
I told Adeline that I had a better feel for her suffering since I was now
suffering from sciatic nerve inflammation.
I have frequent pain in the lower back and in the thighs. Uncle Benjamin and I tried our best to carry the luggages for
Adeline. She insisted on carrying a
black bag. I carried the large
luggage and Uncle Benjamin carried a plastic bag filled with her personal
On the curbside, I left the large luggage on the
sidewalk and asked Adeline and Uncle Benjamin to wait for me so I could pick up
the car. That way, I could save
Adeline from some steps. When I
returned with the car, I noticed that the car made some strange noises when I
backup. I was not sure what the
problem was, but was worried. My
car was a 1986 model, and I replaced the transmission only one month ago.
I picked up the large luggage to store it in the trunk.
It was too large that I could not close the lid completely.
I was preoccupied with that luggage and was not thinking of Adeline¡¯s
As I drove down to Mountain View, Adeline and I
had a pleasant talk of her recent life. My
worry about the car deepened as the car continued to make more and louder
noises. I relaxed with a sigh when
we finally arrived safely in Mountain View.
With a little difficulty, we found Rudi¡¯s apartment.
I asked Adeline to stay in the car so I could ask Rudi to help carry the
luggages to the apartment.
When I returned, Rudi and I took the large luggage
from the trunk and the bag that Uncle Benjamin handed me.
Adeline noticed that the black bag that she carried down stairs was
missing. She said that she left it
next to the large luggage. I could not recall the details, as I did not know that she
had left the black bag next to the large luggage.
We checked the car carefully and could not find that bag.
It turned out that Adeline stored her lap top computer in the bag.
That computer was very important to Adeline, since she stored all her
writing and many other personal data in the hard drive.
She did not back up the files. That
computer also costs a lot of money. We
were not panicky yet since we thought may be it was left in San Francisco, and
Uncle Benjamin had brought it to his home.
We went to Rudi¡¯s apartment to call Uncle Benjamin.
To our great horror, Uncle Benjamin could not
find the lap top computer in his house. He
remembered that we did not leave anything on the curbside when we departed from
San Francisco. This was now a
crisis, since besides the lost personal files and the valuable computer, Adeline
would miss an important tool that she would need to work for the next six months
that she plans to spend in America. I
gave the car key to Rudi and asked him to check the car one more time.
Adeline and I stayed in the apartment to wait for him.
Rudi shared the apartment with several friends.
He occupies one room. There
was a mattress on the floor, a computer table with his computer and one chair. Adeline sat on the chair.
I sat on the carpet. Adeline
urged me to sit in the chair to avoid incurring pain in my back.
I thought that it would be better for Adeline to sit, as I was not
feeling any pain at that time.
Rudi returned from the car and confirmed our worst
nightmare. The computer was not in
the car. It was definitely lost.
There was really not much that we could have done at that time.
Facing with that crisis, Adeline did not once showed any great concern
for her loss, or any displeasure for the inconvenience that she faced. She did not complain of the many difficulties that the fate
had meted out to her. The pain that
she suffers constantly. The thought
of blaming anyone else for the lost computer did not even cross her mind.
She was worried about pain that I might be suffering.
I decided that I would not go out to dinner with Adeline and Rudi that
evening, as I did not want Adeline and Rudi to get stuck if the car should break
down. I returned to San Jose instead.
As I left, Adeline was concerned about my safety in driving that car.
As I drove down to San Jose, I could not help
but to reflect on the whole incident. How
would I feel if I had lost my computer, with all the stored files and the tool
that I need for the next six months. I
trembled at the thought, as my computer crashed only two months ago.
I had to reformat the hard drive and lost everything that I stored in the
computer. The pain was still fresh
in my mind. Adeline not only lost
all the files, which were much more important to her since she was a
professional writer, but the computer itself.
I know that in her situation I would feel pity for
myself, but not her. She had to replace the computer with hard earned money,
which was in short supply. She
supports herself and her son who is attending a college in America with money
she earned in China. She will also
suffer the inconvenience of not having her computer to write, at least for a
short while. Yet, she was not
pre-occupied with her loss. She was
worried about my discomfort and my safety.
She felt the pain and suffering of others when she herself was facing
with a horrible and costly loss. Adeline
is truly an example for me and for others.