A few years ago, the mother of a buddy of mine was approaching her 100th birthday. She didn't get out much anymore, but she'd been to the hairdresser and had her hair Cool Whipped to perfection in preparation for her birthday party. I photographed the festivities and got a once-in-a-lifetime shot of mother and son.
The next morning, before any cup of anything could clear the cobwebs from my head, I deleted the shots from the memory card. But I was confident I could recover the data. I'd done it with floppies, so why not with a card? I spent the next few weeks trying every trick in the book to undelete the files on the card. But they were lost. I consoled myself with the thought that I'd get that portrait again one day, but the dear matriarch never lived to see her 101st birthday.