For the fifth year in a row, my family and I have vacationed separately. This week, just like all the years prior, my husband, youngest brother, youngest son and 3 nephews have all gone together on some crazy man-trip doing manly things.
What made this year a little different, is instead of me vacationing elsewhere at the same time, I will leave when they get back. So unfortunately, I’ll be separated from them twice as long. I won’t lie, I have enjoyed the peaceful solitude of having the house to myself for a week. I am amazed at how much I have gotten done. But once everything is done, then what?
This morning I was bored. So, I flicked through the Netflix offerings, hoping to find a chick-flick that I could indulge in, whilst my all-male household was away. Instead, I stumbled across a WWII colorized documentary series. Having been raised in a predominately male household with seven brothers and a military father, I grew up immersed in all things war. I couldn’t help but watch the documentary and learn new details about WWII that I hadn’t known before.
What stood out to me the most, was how slow the communication was. I thought about the soldiers and how long they went without hearing from, or seeing their families. Months would go by before they would get a letter, and by the time it reached them, it was old news. How lonely it must have been for them, to not be able to hear from their loved ones! Oh, how the world’s technology has changed, in the 70-80 years since then.
I began to think about how alone I felt, while my family was away. But I am thankful for the ability to call, text, Email, Facetime, or Skype them, at a moment’s notice. Although I’m not there, I can still experience their trip with them, through multiple avenues. I can speak to them by phone, or see them via Facetime or Skype. I get photos sent to me, as they engage in their activities. They text me with the highlights of their day.
Everyone is connected. 24/7. That is, unless you don’t have a computer or cell phone. There are so many bad things one could bring up about technology, but the ability to connect to loved ones, isn’t one of them. How much easier it must be, for members of today’s military. Technology brings us together (or tears us apart) in an instant.
I watch your eyes as you grin back at me
A vision through Skype, I’m impatient to see
Ruffled hair, rakish smile, that “look” to hush;
I touch the screen, this prison glass that separates us
You are my port in the storm, the mist falls, scent of rain and gray
My heart, an open Window, soul flown away
Pixelated squares of laptop glow
L o v e
01001100 01101111 01110110 01100101
You are the one, I am the zero.
-Anne Redmond 2012