Texting Instead of Talking

Last updated: August 2017

Maybe you’re not well versed in the latest gadgets, and maybe you don’t want to be. That is okay for most things, but this is something that I urge you to do. Begin texting. In the early stages, the shortness of breath is annoying. However, in the end stage, just talking can be a big problem.

I remember when I got my mom a phone and began trying to teach her how to text. She was so reluctant. Her frustration level would get so high. Sometimes the frustration was aggravated by the steroids, but certainly texting was not something that she was excited about.

Back then it was a flip phone. She had to continually press the number buttons until the correct letter appeared, and if she missed it, well, she had to go back through them until it appeared again. There were countless times that she would call back and fuss about not wanting to text. She would try to get me to just call her, but I kept telling her that we would need this some day. She would grumble and try again.

A few years later, we got her a slide phone. It was awesome, and actually that first slide phone was her favorite. It had a polar bear animation that she enjoyed, and it was a little less frustrating. She began texting more and more. I was so proud.

Then we changed carriers, and mom’s slide phone was replaced by a different slide phone. It had a touch screen on the front. She hated talking on it because the oxygen line would sometimes cause the phone to think that her cheek was making a selection. She learned to deal with it, and as the years passed, she began to text more than she talked.

This is one of those times that I wish I had not been right. As she progressed in the stages of COPD, she was less and less able to hold a long conversation. She just didn’t have the air needed to speak. Unfortunately there were times that her vision was bad, and texting became difficult too. However, there are so many things that we were able to share because she was willing to text.

Mom was with me only part of the time. The rest of the time, she was at her home with my father. During those times, I was able to send her pictures of the kids. She may not have been able to go every place with us physically, but in a way she was with us. She went to the zoo, Disney, and even the grocery store with us through texting. Mom was so much a part of our lives through this tool that during our most recent family trip, I felt a piece of our family was missing because I could not share it with her.

When mom left for heaven in March, I started going through my phone. I had not deleted anything of hers in over a year. I am so thankful for the texts that I have. Times that she would say, “I love you.” “Good night” “Be careful.” I will treasure them as long as I live.

Thankfully most people have given in and learned how to text, but if you know someone that hasn’t, I recommend giving them a gentle nudge to learn and begin using it.

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