Dear Ann Landers, I recently read the letter from the daughter whose mother was lonely, bitter and dependent on her for a social life. You said Mom needed some extracurricular activities. May I make a few suggestions?
I am a 79-year-old widow with the physical disabilities that often come with age. A year ago, my children gave me an old computer. It wasn't too hard to learn, though I confess it was frustrating at first. Every Sunday evening, our family gets together in a chat room so I can talk to my children, their spouses and my grandchildren, no matter where we are. I've learned to surf the 'Net and can send electronic musical greeting cards to nieces and nephews. They also send me interesting and funny things to let me know they are thinking of me. I am having so much fun, there is no time to be lonely.
If that mother doesn't want a computer, she may be interested in tracing her family genealogy and collecting family photographs. Last Christmas, I sent my children an album of their childhood pictures, awards and report cards. They said it was their favorite gift.
Being alone can be depressing, if you let it. I keep my aches and pains to myself and never criticize. I just listen, smile and pray a lot. -- Cyber Grandma
Dear Cyber Gram, You sound like my kind of woman: No leaning on others to entertain you; you entertain yourself. Your closing mantra is a pearl of wisdom. Four cheers, lady!