It’s almost like being there

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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Many of us elders have complained about the growing technology developments and how they have changed our worlds.

We have especially decried the addiction to smart phones as being divisive in our society, claiming people are drifting farther and farther away from personal interactions.

If you don’t own a smart phone, a laptop or computer you are just out of it. Electronic communication has become the norm.

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At this scary time when all fear social contact due to the Coronavirus Covid 19, we can be thankful we can still stay in touch electronically, if not physically.

A prime example in my life occurred over the weekend and brought the message home to me loud and clear.

My elderly and only remaining sister died in Southeastern Ohio a week ago in a nursing home where she had resided for the last ten years or so. The funeral was scheduled for Saturday, March 14. Given the snowy weather up there, and a reluctance to fly or travel at this time, I opted to stay safe in South Georgia. Yes, I felt some guilt about the decision; but then I realized my sister would be the first to understand my decision. She always had serious anxiety over anyone traveling anywhere, even in good times. But, I digress.

The point is this. Thanks to modern technology I was able to be at the funeral.

My daughter from South Carolina and her husband drove to Ohio to attend the services. They joined my son who lives there, and another son drove in from Washington DC. They were all there to represent me and to show our love and respect for my sister— their deceased aunt.

Here is where it gets good. My daughter called me to FaceTime as the service began, and I was able to sit quietly in my room to watch and listen to the whole service.

I mentally sang along on the hymns, absorbed the prayers and Bible readings and especially enjoyed hearing the testimonials from those who had known and loved her.

My eldest son read a eulogy of sorts I had written, and after the service I was able to see and speak with my nephew—her only child.

Even better, when all returned to Columbus to my son’s home they decided to celebrate Pi day. Again, I was able to FaceTime with them at their Pi party, as they sampled a selection of eight different flavors of pies. We relived the service and caught up on each other’s lives. As I have said, “It was almost like being there—almost”