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I gave my 75 year old mom a kindle for Christmas. She loves to read and as she ages she finds it increasingly difficult to drive across town to the library. For my own peace of mind, I thought the kindle might do quite nicely.
Except for the technology issue.
We had our first lesson in Kindle-ology. I repeated everything 10 times. Maybe 20. I had preloaded books for her, put the thing on my account, and all she had to do was select one and turn pages.
Problem is, the book selection button is different than the page turning button. And the page turning button is different than the “Go to the beginning of the book” button. Also, each button has a different feel and too much pressure can get you either several pages ahead, or onto the internet.
I knew this might be an issue. We gave mom our old computer a few years back, and she knows just enough to be dangerous. She can get her email and send it, that’s the important thing. But I created a monster, because now she can’t live without it. Heaven help us if there’s a technical issue and she can’t receive updates on Aunt Helen’s knee replacement surgery. Now THAT is a crises.
We set her up with a cell phone last Christmas. I don’t even want to get into how many times I explained the basic functions of that. It’s on-going.
Mom knows her limits in the technical world, she will say herself, “We’re not so good at this stuff” (including my dad in the statement, even though he refuses to enter into 21st century technology).
Surprisingly enough, mom caught onto the Kindle quite well, with only a few errant finger swipes. She is a reading machine, and has knocked out several books on her own.
I’m out of town this week and she sent an email saying when I returned home she needed the third book in a series installed. I looked up my account and realized I didn’t have it, and she assumed I did. I belong to a book club where I download free books every day, and this one wasn’t on the list.
Amazon had it listed for $6.97 – a great price, so I purchased and clicked “mom’s kindle”.
“If you look on your kindle now, it should be there”, was my return email to mom.
I knew this would blow her away.
“It is there! I had tried, but didn’t get it……but just now did &
it’s there! Thanks!” Her enthusiastic reply gave me a giggle.
As I relayed this story to my husband on our morning beach walk, he said, “Wow, what a good story! My eyes are kind of misty!”
Sometimes it’s the little things. Actually, with the elderly, it’s almost always the little things. Stopping by to change out a furnace filter, a phone call to check on Aunt Helen’s knee, or, (gasp) taking a few minutes to debug a computer and get that email back up and running. We all need to keep these simple things in mind – slow down and take time for those wonderful folks who reared and poured their lives into you.
When I see mom again I can’t wait to hear her ask, “Now how did you get that book on my kindle all the way from Florida?!?”