Monday, April 02, 2007

Wired

My mother is 83 years old; a young 83. She rides her bike to the shops each day, volunteers to help the 'old dears' who enjoy playing whist (as she does) but can no longer see or hear that well and has the energy of a woman 30 years younger (and I am not even slightly exagerating). Here she is last autumn in her backyard in Eastbourne, England. She speaks beautifully and I only wish her hearing was half as good as it was when I was in my teens and trying to sneak in the house well past curfew. In the last year she and her husband, Lloyd, bought a computer. And then they were online. And then, I was getting emails from her. She has never typed in her life so every keystroke is painstakingly searched and pecked and her emails are true train of thoughts. She seems unaware of where full stops or commas are on the keyboard and just sends.




Yesterday she sent me this email (copied and pasted):

Hi Just phoned harold no answer no doubt he has taken Margaret for a ride the ewather is beautiful today I never ask about Yvonne Ido know Noel visits them he is such a kind person Bettie mae is a great person helps emeryone despite her handicap I like her her stepsons love her her first husband committed suicide she did not have an easy childhood look forward to pictures of the children Sally Rodneys wife is alovely person I know you would like her Cathy is so worried about her brother she cares about everyone all for now love to all Land L


Every person mentioned is a relative of mine. Some in England, some in North Carolina (my Dad was from NC and my Mum is English). After reading her emails I generally just sit and stare at the monitor for a few minutes and try and remember each person she's mentioned and how they fit into the family tree. Then, filled with questions, I fire back an email. Here's mine to her:

Hey Mum, Your typing is getting better and better. It was lovely hearing from Bettie Mae and I will be sure to keep up a correspondence with her. I so enjoyed her company when we were in NC (she is the one with the artificial leg, right?). Sometimes in my mind I get her confused with Shirley, but I remember that Shirley is the one who is raising her adopted son's children due to his addictions, right? Bettie Mae was Claiborn's daughter, right? But he didn't have much to do with her after he left her mother for that [very] young woman? Yvonne just annoys the hell out of me. Thank god Harold and Margaret have Noel in their lives. Have they come to terms with his sexual orientation yet? Just curious.

Love you loads and see you soon, L xoxoxo

5 Comments:

Anonymous Procrastamom said...

Oy, your Mum is a spry one! Good on her for taking the internet by the horns.

My Mum just phoned England today and she was reeling off the names and situations of every family member there at dinner tonight. It's nice to sit and think about all those connections I have on the other side of the pond. I haven't visited since I was 14 and would love to go back for a visit. R and I are saving up and hope to take the kids in 2 years or so.

8:52 PM  
Blogger sweatpantsmom said...

Love your mom's email.

My mom's 85 and taking a computer class at her senior center. We're thinking of getting her a laptop for Mother's Day - heaven help us.

When we first got her a pager (way back when) she kept trying to talk into it, like a phone.

2:00 PM  
Blogger granny p said...

Oh God - won't we all want to be like that. I lOVE your mum,

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, your mom types just like today's teens! She's "with it"!

Good for her, not afraid of a little technology.

Junebee

10:17 AM  
Blogger Oopsy Daisy said...

I belong to this certain forum and there is a 31 year okd woman on there that writes her posts exactaly as your moms. No periods, no commas, nothing. Everything is one big run on sentence and fragmented. Drives me nuts! Could you do me a favor and respond to one of her forum posts? I don't have the nerve to do it myself. ;-)

8:01 PM  

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