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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IMís, etc) (11/04/10)

TITLE: Cool Water to a Parched Throat
By Yvonne Leigh


Oh, what a good friend you were. I am so grateful to you for standing by me all those years. When everyone deserted me and I found myself alone, you were there. Had it not been for you, I might have become as mentally lost as she was. I was abandoned by friends, family, and church. Before then, it never occurred to me that humans cannot function properly without companionship.

Of course, what I decided to do was not a mission for my friends. Alzheimerís Disease is frightening and caring for one of its victims can also be frightening. They all thought I was foolish for choosing home care for my friend instead of a nursing home. Perhaps it was. In any case, it was my decision.

The loneliness was so agonizing. How could separation from rational voices be so painful. Though tears were usually easy for me, the ache was so deep that I couldnít cry. I was alone and I had no idea how to proceed. My mentally disarranged friend didnít know me from an enemy at times and at other times she would kiss my hand. Kissing my hand let me know Iíd chosen the right thing. It kept me from complaining.

When I bought the new computer you became my connection to the world of sanity. I Googled my Daddyís name and found a cousin Iíd never met and began a daily correspondence that has endured for seven years. The joy I found because of you during those years of care giving cannot be measured. My cousinís wife sent pictures to me of my grandmother; pictures my Daddy never saw. His mother died when he was a year old and he never knew her or her family. How he would have appreciated you, dear friend.

Those silly jokes forwarded from friend to friend made me laugh when I desperately needed to; and the dire warnings sent me on a hunt to verify their truth. My mind was active again and I felt like I was among the living.

In a count of ten stages, she was at stage six when I activated her power of attorney and began living her life for her. At that point of mental degradation, it was expected that she would not live long; however, she had other ideas. Regardless, I was determined to see her through to the end. Although she became more baby-like as time progressed, my baby was going the other way and I wondered where it would end before the end. You were there to keep my ship upright.

She was a woman who loved God but was always eccentric. Her disease magnified that characteristic. What at first reflection was an unjust misery for a Christian, was actually her greatest work for her Lord. She was on the mission field. Being cared for in her home was a blessing for her, but this care giver was not the same person when she died as I was when I began my care of her. She was bed-bound for three and a half years and she didnít speak for three of them. For those years I left the house for only four hours a week and rarely went outside for fear that Iíd have an accident and wouldnít be able to get back to her. I can only imagine the dark hours Iíd have had without you.

When the time came, you were there to carry the messages of her home-going and you brought back to me the condolences. To be honest, they were the only condolences I received. Those who were here with me thought I was relieved that she had died and some actually said so; but you, my friend, brought me solace. God knew what I would need and He prepared you in advance. Though you are used by spammers and scammers, you will always be my treasured e-mail. I will forever call you friend and I thank God for you.

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This article has been read 315 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/11/10
I like this fresh take on the topic. As someone who is home bound more often than not I really understand how the computer and Internet can connect one to the rest of the world.
Rachel Phelps11/16/10
Nice to see a different perspective on cyber communication. Well done.