Change or don’t complain

I went to lunch with a long time friend (35 years) who has two children and three grandchildren who live far, far away. She was very sad and disappointed that she so seldom hears from any of them. On top of it all, her husband has been very ill (and depressed) for the past three years which has made her life harder and lonelier.

When he first became ill, I was calling her on a regular basis, but she didn’t want to talk on the phone because she needed to be at his beck and call. I would suggest an outing for lunch but she would refuse due to his need for her to be at home or to take him to a doctor’s appointment. I also tried to visit, but she didn’t want anyone in the house as that disturbed her husband and his need for rest. I finally gave up. Even now, three years later, she doesn’t want to be away from him for long periods, and the last phone call was cut short because he had gotten up and wanted his breakfast.

On top of this, she refuses to do anything on social media. No texting, no Facebook, no Skyping. She reads her emails once a week, maybe. Then she complains that the children and grandchildren don’t contact them. I tried to explain, at lunch yesterday and at previous times, that the younger generations do not use mail and telephone calls as we did. They communicate through the technology of today.

Her older brother is on Facebook and will send her pictures of her grandchildren that he sees on their FB pages, but my friend still refuses to go on Facebook herself. I told her that she could make comments on the photos and her grandchildren would see them and it might lead to more communication. She didn’t agree.

The whole situation makes me sad.

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8 responses to “Change or don’t complain

  1. I was at a church event today and sat with a woman who complained about everything. I tried suggesting things that she might think about or do differently, but she was having none of it. I found an excuse to leave the table as soon as I could.

  2. Just this week my Uncle had a whinge to me that nobody contacted him. I was very well behaved and did not reply with the following sentences –

    “How do you expect anyone to contact you when you do not have a mobile phone and everyone has to contact you via the phone that belongs to your Chinese wife?”

    “You are perfectly capable of contacting people yourself, aren’t you? Nobody cut off your fingers, right?”

    “Everyone else in the family communicates via Facebook and text messages, neither of which you care to participate in.”

    My levels of restraint should win me an Olympic medal, if there was an event for not saying the things you are thinking out loud.. 😉

  3. I was very reluctant to get started with Facebook, but now I love it and see pictures of my family and friends whenever I want! You are right that your friend must change herself or she will continue to be very lonely. You are a wise woman, Delaine. 🙂

  4. Very sad story, she is lucky to have you as a concerned friend.

  5. Your friend may feel that nobody loves her, and that’s an awful way to feel. She may be right, too. Just to be tolerated at best, how sad. I use Facebook, and texting when I am not at home, but it does not reach me, somehow, the way a good talk on the telephone does. I do like getting photos. Facebook and texting are not intimate, though. And I had to turn off text messaging because relatives and friends were being snide and aggressive about mutual acquaintances and even trying put me down, and I don’t need that. I have three people I can chat on the phone with and am glad they are in my life.

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