Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Staying in touch

My time in Michigan is waning. I arrived on Friday, August 31st and will depart on Saturday, September 29th. I've been here 19 days and have 11 days remaining. It's true that time flies when you're having fun--or visiting a generous, loving, and hilarious sister and her handsome (and equally generous, loving and hilarious) husband, along with other precious relatives, namely my brother, and my son, his wife and their new son, Tyler. I can't believe that it's almost time to climb aboard that plane and head for home.

While I will miss my loved ones here in Michigan, I have others waiting for me in Mississippi, as well as grandsons in Kentucky (along with their parents, another daughter of mine and her husband) who will be visiting me down there soon. I am blessed beyond words to have loved ones surrounding me. They don't all live next door, as I would obviously prefer, but they do live within flying or driving distance. It's not as though they have disappeared under the canvas dome of a covered wagon and are driving off into the dusty distance, their fate to be determined by the perils they meet along the way. Those days, fortunately, are in the past and for the most part, we are able to stay in touch even over vast oceans and long distances.

Today's communication methods allow us numerous ways to stay in touch with our families and friends and I'm tickled pink to take part in every one that I'm able to. Handwritten letters are, of course, the very best (I'm old-fashioned in that way), but email, phones, cellphones, instant messaging and even computer videos and digital cameras give us ways to stay in touch with loved ones as never before. Yes, in-person visits are always best and a handwritten letter is something that can never be replaced by an email, but today's relentless, often vicious pace doesn't always give us the time to do either one as much as we'd like. In the meantime, communicating in any way possible is certainly better than nothing and the importance of staying in touch with loved ones and friends has never been more critical. Even while we are busy with the tasks at hand, with taking care of our immediate family or making a living, our need to "be" with those who love and understand us grows more intense.

I, for one, will never give up staying in touch with my family. I might not be able to visit them as often as I'd like (or have them visit me), but just knowing that they want to is enough. When times allows and as God ordains, it will happen. In the meantime, I will be content with the many and varied ways I can keep them in my life.

Until the next time...

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