I've spent a few days huffing and moaning about a move made by Comcast. Without warning, Friday night, my e mail was switched to a web based "smartzone" - I have reservations about the validity of that name! I lost all my folders, archived mail and address book - one gathered over eleven years and from around the world. Customer service has given me varying non-reassuring promises that my mail etc. is not "lost", it is merely "migrating". Yesterday I was told that they will issue a repair ticket presumably to see if engineers can head for the savannah, Indian Jones style hats on head and herd my migrating folders back home. Right now my confidence level is at an all-time low.
Starting with my former business and, now Connections for Women and far flung friends, I depend on e-mail as a means of instant communication and connection to the world. Baby Mac comes with me wherever I travel and as long as I can check in, I remain connected. I feel lost right now, as though packs of old love letters, tied with ribbon, perfumed with memories, have been stolen from me. I've saved emails that remind me of great trips; of poignant moments; notes to and from friends as my husband was so very ill; later, of budding romance; of daily trials. I didn't print out everything on a daily basis- wanted to save paper and clutter.
My bemoaning the loss of tangible access to cherished memories seemed incredibly shallow yesterday evening. I have a neighbors who most nights around seven appear on the hillside above my garden with their dog. My dog waits by a window to glimpse them and lets me know they have arrived. I throw on lights and go down the steps, open the gate and the dogs romp for about ten minutes. It's become something of a ritual and in the eight months or so since this pattern emerged, I've become aware of Jan's (name changed) increasing confusion and, quite honestly, strange behavior. Three weeks ago her husband casually made a statement that included "since Jan's Alzheimer set in" and, what I had suspected was confirmed. This couple are in their late seventies and physically very fit. He is exceptionally sharp and I imagine she to was that way until not so very long ago. They've just returned from a trip to visit children in another part of the country. I asked asked how it went...he gave me a sad look. "We won't take more trips..." he began, "Why not?" she shot back. "Because my dear," he said "it's too hard on me." I knew what he meant. Even on these evening walks he guides her gently in the right direction, patiently answers when she point to their dog and demands "whose dog is that" and reminds her that "this is Gerry; she lives here" when she comes up very close to me and says "who are you, why are you here?".
I think of all the bundled love letters of memory that must sustain him now and of her desperate search for understanding in a world grown unfamiliar. My loss of email is paltry.
The first steps in my Life Reimagined - When AARP approached me to do a trial of their Life Reimagined program, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to hear some fresh voices other than the ones ...