52: The Phone Call

52: The Phone Call

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!

The Phone Call

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.

~Dr. Seuss

I was walking to my next class when my grandmother called. I assumed it would be one of her usual “when are you coming over for dinner” phone calls. But instead I heard heavy breathing and her panicked tone as she started speaking. I started running to my car, ready to rush to her home, as I asked, “Grandma, what’s wrong?”

“Oh honey, I can’t find the damn Internet button again. I have LOST IT!” I stopped running. All of the horrible scenarios that had been running through my mind disappeared as I started to laugh and cry in the middle of the university quad. My grandma was yelling through the phone. “What’s so funny? I can’t get my e-mail. I can’t check my Facebook! Honey, what do I do?”

This was not the first time that Grandma had called me in a panic about her computer. I remember one e-mail that contained more curse words than an actual explanation of the problem. She has always been an outspoken and honest woman, and I could not imagine life without her as one of my mentors. After I was able to compose myself and let her know that I was thankful she and Grandpa were both alive and well, I was able to walk her through the loss of her Internet “button.”

Two minutes later, she was cheerful. “There it is! It’s back! Oh, thank you, honey. What a relief!” The whole family knows that Grandma must never lose access to her e-mails, political websites, and Facebook for more than a few hours. Where would we be without her daily e-mails and comments on our Facebook posts — in all capital letters?

She says she uses ALL CAPS because she does not like holding down the shift button to capitalize. I say she is yelling. Every time I see her posts, I imagine Grandma screaming at the computer screen while typing. In reality, she is quite calm as she sits at the computer, usually listening to NPR while Grandpa watches westerns in the other room. But it doesn’t stop me from laughing anyway. And my friends have had to get used to it. At first they thought some random elderly woman was yelling at them on Facebook.

Grandma is a character, to say the least, and one of the most intelligent, strong, self-confident women I have ever known. I may receive a few scary phone calls about her broken Internet or listen to her cursing her disobedient printer, but I am glad to be her technical help person, on the phone or in person. I’d actually be disappointed if that “damn Internet button” stopped disappearing on her.

~Emma Blandford

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