Saturday, February 24, 2007

Reluctantly Connected

I have developed a love-hate relationship with my new cell phone. For instance, when my grandmother took quite ill the other day, it came in very, very handy indeed, allowing me to quickly ascertain pertinent information and pass it along to others in a timely manner. Great. I hate how intrusive it is, though. Drive time used to be my time. I spend a lot of time in the car, driving Jacelyn to school, then myself to work, then picking Jacelyn up from school, then dropping her off at someone's home, then driving back to work, then later driving home again.

At first I found myself rather disgruntled with all the time spent in the car, then I found myself enjoying it. It has become kind of an oasis for me, a little isle of tranquility. Some down time between work life and home life, a little space where I don't have to be anybody, I can just be. The jetta is my domain and mine alone, the only space in the world that is exclusively mine. I put a air freshener scent in that I enjoy, I can listen to whatever music I want to or none at all. In the car, I am in charge. In that time, there are no expectations of me, except that I will arrive somewhere, eventually.

That little bit of time that was previously blissfully my own has now been intruded upon by technology. On the way to pick up Jacelyn, my SIL will walkie-talkie me, the conversation sometimes lasting until the bell rings and Jacelyn is delivered to the car. On the drive home from work, someone will walkie-talkie me - sometimes Brian, sometimes his sister. Where are you? is usually the first question, followed by the relaying of some need or desire that I can fulfill upon my arrival home. A few moments into the conversation comes the inevitable question: Where are you now? I hate that. Leave me be. Let me have these fifteen minutes. But alas, it does not seem to be.

I feel safer with the phone, and it has come in very handy. I am very glad that I have it, in case there is an emergency and I need to contact someone, or someone needs to contact me. I just can't stand being so....available. I was at the hospital Sunday, sitting in the room with my grandmother when, much to my horror, the phone rang. I had forgotten to turn it off. After nearly breaking my neck to answer it quickly, who is on the other end of line but my SIL. "I haven't heard from you in a while, what are you doing?" she asked. Sigh.

I still consider myself a holdout on some points of cell phone ownership. I keep it turned off, most of the time (unless Brian is in town or Jacelyn is doing something at school). I do not own an earpiece or hands-free headset. In the car, if I receive or make a call, I put it on speaker or use the walkie-talkie function. I don't feel the desire or the need to be that available. I appreciate the safety and convenience but mourn the loss of privacy. Oh well; such is life, there's a downside to everything. I'll get used to it.

My father just called. My grandmother is on the downswing, apparently. They have removed all of her tubes - her feeding tube and another IV line they had in her shoulder (that became infected). Dad said it is now just a matter of time before she passes. This to Teresa: do not feel bad. You cannot control this, no one can, and you cannot get here any faster than you can get here. DO NOT FEEL BAD. She knows you love her, and she has been so proud of you, always. We all are. I love you and can't wait to see you next week and if she does happen to die before you get here do not feel bad. You can only do what you can do. Don't feel bad. Did I say that enough? I love you.

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