Last week, just as I was about to make a long-distance Skype to America, my laptop quietly died. Well, before it died, it froze, and went into a coma. I don’t know if it could hear me, but it didn’t react to anything I did. Not mouse movements, not my tapping on the keys, not even Escape.

I had to switch it off and have it examined.

Two days later I got a call. The man had some good news and some bad news. The bad news was that the hard drive had, indeed, died. The good news was that they were able to retrieve the data.

“I’ll put a folder called ‘backup’ on your new disk then,” said the man with the message.

Here.


Today, I picked up my laptop, and carried it home in a white plastic bag. I put my red Olympic mittens around it, for protection and warmth. At home, I turned it on, found the backup data, and imported my photos back into the system. And with the 121,422 items re-entering the laptop in what seemed to be a random order, my entire life flashed before my eyes. I sat there with my hand on my cheek, and this is what I saw:

A newborn son
My parents
Son getting bigger
Wife pregnant
Me hoisting the Stanley Cup
Another baby
Grandpa, grandma, standing next to each other in the 50s
Grandpa, grandma, me sitting between them on the steps of their house in the 70s
Son riding a bike
My old skates
Kharlamov’s old helmet.
My funny mustache
Russian hotel room
Finland’s hockey gold in 1995
In-laws
Cousins
Cousins’ in-laws
In-laws’ cousins
Wife in winter clothes
Wife in a summer dress
My favorite pants
That leather jacket
Friends
Teachers
Stockholm
The Old Town
Son riding a horse
Helsinki
Xmas, Easter, another Xmas, midsummer
Benches in sweden
Son taking a bath
Son brushing his teeth
Son playing golf
Doors of helsinki
Classmates
Class photos
Son’s classmates
Daughter as a pirate
Kids running, kids jumping
Wife running
Birds, lions, elephants
Young Dad looking like young me
Me looking like young Dad
Me looking like Mom
Son looking like me
A yellow umbrella
Kids under the umbrella
Wife smiling, laughing
Daughter standing on her hands
Daughter crying
Stefan Liv
Wife in Italy, making a toast
Me in a green helmet
Son walking naked on the balcony
Mom pushing the trolley
Bryan Adams in a Team Canada sweater
Me looking way too chubby
Me looking pretty damn good
Wait, too fat again
Still pretty good
Stanley Cup party in Sweden
The Stockholm subway
The Stockholm archipelago
Son reading comics
Son playing bandy
Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky with the Olympic torch
Daughter riding the bike
Daughter hugging Moominmamma
Playgrounds, slides, carousels
Son sitting in a Moroccan basket
Son sitting on the backseat of a NYC lilousine
Son fishing with Dad
Royal wedding
Daughter blowing candles
Reindeer in Tromsö
Water drinking street entertainer in Cologne
Zdeno Chara
The Phantom
Wife reading a book on a ferry to Finland
Wife sleeping on a ferry to Finland
Son playing Scrooge
Daughter under a rainbow
Teammates, teammates, teammates in black and white
Teammates, teammates, teammates in color
Hoisting the Stanley Cup with Son
The leaning tower of Pisa
Me eating my 12th pizza in 12 days
Summer, spring, autumn, winter
Darth Maul at Legoland
Daughter dressed as Spiderman
Jaromir Jagr skating in shorts
Gröna Lund free fall
Linnanmäki space shot
A fireplace crackling
Wife’s grandparents
Walking the streets of Mariehamn
Danish hockey fans in viking helmets
Swedish hockey fans in viking helmets
Finnish hockey fans intoxicated
Son’s christening
Daughter’s christening
Wife and I smiling at the camera

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