Friday, July 24, 2009

Let friends be supportive - even a bit helps YOU

I created a Facebook profile about the same time that I started this blog and I've found it to be a great spot for some support! Yes, people send supportive notes but it gives me the chance to be supportive to friends and family. Family is THE most important thing to me and mine is spread far and wide - the all around NW USA, California, Wisconsin, Michigan - with Facebook I can check in with them, send quick notes and share in their lives more regularily than just a quick visit every few years.

My facebook friends & family share jokes, updates about health issues, spouses, kids and our parents - good news and bad. I'm impressed with the way that people share in funny things but even more impressed with the responses when there's sad or bad news! I'd say that positive and supportive responses to bad news is twice that of good news. For example, the classmate who gave me very good advice about assisted living facilities posted a comment that her dad fell at a local grocery store and that he ended up in the ER. Within minutes, 7 of us were able to see it and offer kind words. I checked back this morning and even more people made comments and she posted an update on her dads status - he's fine and getting around well but still black and blue.

Perhaps it's selfish of me but I was thankful to have the chance to tell her that I hope he's okay and that I understand how worried she must have been. From a communication stand point, my friend was also able to notify family far and wide using Facebook. Originally, I signed up to get in touch with high school classmates out of curiosity and to get information about our reunion. I never dreamed it would be a place where I could feel the support of friends and give love and support to them as well. If you're able, I recommend it!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Online paper gives us something to talk about

I just got an online subscription to the newspaper in my home town and it's done wonders for Mom and I. Before I call her I read the local headlines so when we're on the phone we have all kinds of things to discuss. We read the same articles so I can easily understand if she tries to tell me about a particular topic. Before she'd try to tell me about what she read but might forget a few details then realize it was not a complete story then she got flustered. This way I can ask her questions about the issues or people involved and it's a much better conversation.

On a more fun note: I won an honorable mention with the picture that you see to the right of this blog. It's Mom in the Summer of 2008. I submitted it to the local newspaper photo contest and won a small acknowledgement of $25 in gas. It's not a huge sum but it's something. The fun part is that the paper published it on Sunday, July 17, so Mom saw it and realized that I won with her photo. When I called her she was happy about it but said - with a chuckle - that the least I could do was use the gas to take her for a ride! I will gladly do that.