Beloved has an elderly aunt, she’s in her nineties and as sharp as a tack. Recently she stopped answering her phone, much to family and friends consternation and stress. This resulted in mad dashes to her place, she lives alone in a quaint little house in a small village, by various family members. Beloved was dispatched in one of these mad dashes and he brought me along as company.
We had both prepared ourselves for the worst, but she answered the door with a huge smile on her face and insisted we stay for tea and a nice visit. There appeared to be thing visibly wrong with her and she certainly had her wits about her. So why had she stopped answering the phone?
She evaded the question when Beloved asked her, instead asking him about a biography he had been reading. She discussed a book she was reading, got more tea and served some scenes she had made earlier that day. All the while she seemed fine, not a thing appeared to me at least, to be amiss with her.
When she saw the “old lady” who les across the street from her come back with bags from the market, Beloved’s aunt sent him over to help the “elderly lady with her packages”. The lady across the street is exactly two years older than his aunt.
After she sent Beloved away she told me why she stopped answering the phone. I was a bit surprised by her reason…she didn’t want to hear any more about friends and such having passed on. In her mind most of the calls she was receiving were regarding the death of a friend and she was tired of getting a reminder that time was slowing down for her. S she simply stopped answering the phone.
The way she saw it, the only news she was getting these days was about someone else day and she was too busy with living her life. She said the added bonus to not answering her phone was that people stopped by to visit, something that was lacking these days as far as she was concerned. And while she hadn’t stopped answering her phone to get people to visit, she wasn’t displeased by this turn of events.
“Otherwise” she said with a twinkle in her eyes, “I’d only see people at funerals or the odd celebration for something like Christmas.” She asked me not to tell Beloved, not in her presence, for she would hate for her favourite nephew to think her foolish. When I told Beloved, long after we were home again he simply smiled and told me he’d make sure he stopped in n her more often. I’m pretty sure those scones had something to do with it. And I’m positive that she isn’t the foolish one! I suspect she is much wiser than most of us, for she figured out how to get her family back to visiting and having human contact. In other words she found a way to defeat the lack of socializing that technology has created. It is us, using technology to socialize that may, in fact, be the fools.