August 20

Lately I’ve been trying to clean up my electronic devices–mostly my phone–of unnecessary stuff, old pictures and apps I don’t use. I’ve also been cross checking my iPad since I’m never sure what is actually linked to my phone. So I opened the Notes app on my iPad to see if it had the same long list of notes (quotes, grocery lists, names) as my phone. It doesn’t. Instead, I found one note, not written by me. It said I really love you Melissa and was dated March 27, 2013. First of all, that was not what I was expecting. It was obviously not left by my kids. They’ve left me notes on my phone and they always call me Mom. Secondly, I apparently do not use my iPad to its fullest potential since I have programs and apps that I never even open up. Forsooth.

I’m not sure who left the note. Just like I’m not sure who sent me flowers on my birthday last year. I have suspicions. The curious cat in me would like to figure it out. After all, I’m the type of person who will get up out of bed in the middle of the night to check one more spot when I’ve been searching for a missing item. I like to investigate until I’ve exhausted my options and only then will I try to let it go. I think this time, though, I’m not going to expend energy wondering for too long over it. Someone loved me and wanted me to know and left me a note where they thought I’d see it. I’m sorry I didn’t find it earlier. But maybe I found it when I was supposed to, as a reminder that even though it sometimes doesn’t feel like it or it isn’t obvious, I am loved by people in my life. People other than my kids or my immediate family. That’s rather nice to hear. I think most people don’t hear I love you enough. So tonight Im thankful for the mystery message, 511 days late.

August 13

I was going through old photos in my photo stream and eliminating ones I didn’t need or want anymore. I love my iPhone but it seems like I run out of photo storage too quickly. I mean am I the only one who needs to carry around hundreds of photos at all times? I may need the 10 blurry shots of my moving puppy or the endless concert pictures that are mostly silhouettes or the Snarky ecards that will come in handy one day to post as a Facebook comment. It’s curious that I find it difficult to part with these photos, yet I don’t necessarily feel compelled to have them printed and put in a photo album. Maybe that’s because our worlds have become so digital. There’s a strange comfort in having everything on a small device that barely leaves our person or at the least our view. Our lives can sit, literally, in the palm of our hands. At dinner tonight my friends and I talked briefly of the evolution of technology as we teased one in our party for his lack of smart phone savvy. Most of us have apps downloaded to take us to every small bit of information we could want: emails, Facebook, banking, weather, tv, Internet…I even have my home security programmable on my phone. I can watch tv, post to my blog, listen to music, play games, and browse through my photos. I could be stuck in an elevator happily for hours if I didn’t lose phone service. Well, ok, that’s a stretch but only because I get claustrophobic. At any rate, I find our current technology amazing and am thankful to have access to it. I remember the days of Dos so my iPhone is like a piece of magic.

April 29

My mom finally got a smartphone. It’s amusing to me because she fights technology. She doesn’t know how to use her computer and sees no use for wireless internet at her home. (Which drives those of us visiting crazy.) However, when she needed to change phone plans after my dad died, my sister talked her into upgrading her phone–to an iPhone. And it’s taken her less than a week to text like a pro. Tonight I called her in response to a text she sent today, knowing that my answer would be too cumbersome to type out on my phone. After I explained that to her, she replied Yes, I’m finding it sometimes easier to call than text. As if she’s been texting for ages. It made me smile. Partly because it’s funny how quickly she’s adapted to the technology that just a month ago she would have denied needing or wanting or being able to understand. But mostly, I’m proud of my mom for branching out in even this small way. There’s a sort of independence I see in the fact that she’s embracing the new. I think that’s important now that my dad is gone. We talked a little tonight about how she’s struggling with the moments she’s too keenly aware of his absence. How she’s trying to stay busy. It’s not an easy task to learn to be alone after living with someone for 40 years. Not only does she need to navigate the practical aspects of that (she wishes she had paid attention to how to run the lawn mower, but she thought she’d have more time to learn) but she also needs to figure out how to maneuver through the loneliness. I’m grateful for the fact that she’s not shrinking from the independence that’s been thrust upon her, but rising to the challenge. She’ll make it. I know that. It’s these baby steps that are helping. Well, that and the fact that she’s a strong, intelligent woman. More so than she sometimes gives herself credit.