Mom was constantly amazed that her older years didn't turn out quite the way she'd expected. As she told it, her expectation was of a world that got progressively smaller & smaller as she got older & older. She was happily stunned that it actually got larger & larger, thanks to her participation in several e-mail discussion groups and her own postings, under Mindwalker1910.
Having an online presence helped Mom gain grounding in the shifting roles that seemed to face her on every side. As Mom wrote, "Changing roles and changing identities can be rough... Whoever is ME is changing so fast it is hard to keep up at times. It feels like more is bubbling up to the surface than ever before -- well, since I fell in love, married and became a mom for the first time. As I write this in July, we are even thinking about putting together my very own web site, which seems ... well, I do not know what it seems, but it does."
Having an online presence gave Mom the opportunity to time travel - she could recall a memory, share a present-day opinion, look to a future hope. What incredible delight she would have taken in Facebook, in blogging & especially in Skype. How she would have loved a weekly face-to-face with Mike & Kerry and Karen & her Mike down in Australia, with Dave & Candy in Sioux Falls - with all of her far-flung friends, family & family-of-the-heart!!
I remember Mom's awe as she sat next to me, ordering flowers for the opening of my brother's fabulous hardware store, the ease with which we found the terrific florist in
, the happiness she felt crafting a custom arrangement (incorporating hardware!) that tickled her funny bone while it charmed her eye - all a snap via the internet. Sydney
Am a tad teary eyed when I think about the joy she would have felt seeing her beloved granddaughter, Karen on her wedding day, newly-minted husband at her side, being with them via Skype - if only she'd lived long enough for such wonders. Or the joy she would have had on weekly "play dates" with great-grands Campbell, Piper & Finley and other grands-of-the-heart!
Mom never considered herself exceptional. She never ever thought that what she shared online was of much importance, let alone value. How many times did she protest that some small detail of her life was important only to her, that some memory was inconsequential, only to get unforgettable notes back from people about how that small detail, that inconsequential memory touched them deeply.
In her final few years, Mom had the great fortune to connect with a truly remarkable woman, Kevyn Malloy, psychologist extraordinaire. Kevyn was gobswoggled with Mom's Mindwalker postings - "Kay, do you have any awareness of the deep value that comes from honoring your past, glory moments & warts & all?" Nope - never occurred to Mom that what she was doing had deep value to her emotional health, but she recognized it as soon as Kevyn pointed it out.
Mom's been gone for over ten years. She went out, as she'd like to say, on the crest of the wave, with a growing circle of online friends who looked to her for wisdom she had no idea she was offering, for a role model she had no idea she embodied.
To Mom, what she wrote was nothing special, just a smattering of personal flotsam & jetsam. But she would say, loud & clear, that those 18 months on the Internet, sharing things with family halfway around the world, having the opportunity to recall special moments & people, the ability to wish family & friends a happy birthday on the big day or best wishes on other special days - those 18 months added a depth & gladness to her life she never imagined.
I'll never forget the awe I felt seeing how Internet access opened up my Mom's life & even changed her view of herself - and that was just through e-mail. Imagine if she'd blogged!!
Cyber Access for the Technically Timid was birthed to honor Mom, who always believed I was born to be a world expander. I am a legacy coach to do for others what made such a tremendous difference for her. Nothing fancy or grand, just me & my laptop, a caring heart & my rapt attention doing what we can to help people who don't want to look at a keyboard gain the perks, privileges & downright fun of being on the Internet.
In a nutshell, I take stress out of accessing the Internet by putting socializing into social networking!
I look forward to growing Cyber Access for the Technically Timid and my reputation as a empathetic legacy coach, serving a client base of older friends eager for the benefits of Internet access without tension or technical intimidation, helping them connect to & honor their life stories, expanding & deepening lives.
And I guarantee that each & every time I help someone get onto the Internet through the portal of my laptop or reconnect to a long-ago moment, I'll offer up a silent prayer - "Mom, this one's for you."