Right now I’m so very thankful for technology. Most of the time I simply take it for granted and use it day in and day out for business and personal use, rarely stopping to be grateful for its benefits. The occasional instances when it fails are the times I tend to focus on technology.
The Easter weekend reminded me just how fortunate we are to have access to instant communication systems. On Good Friday at 4.30am our younger daughter gave birth to her first child, and by 6am our son-in-law had sent us photos and video of their beautiful newborn daughter, so we could share their experience. I should mention here that they live in London whilst we live in Lincolnshire and it’s a good three hour car journey to visit them, and it would probably take about the same amount of time if we were to travel by train, taking into account travelling to and from the stations at either end of the rail line. Over the weekend we have been blessed with photos, video and updates on their progress, until we were able to drive down to see them all and meet our new granddaughter on Easter Monday.
When our daughters were born in the 1980’s we were lucky to have our family living close by; they just hopped in their car and came to visit in minutes. My sister lived in Surrey at that time and when her sons were born in the 80’s, she took photographs, had them processed and printed, then sent them to our parents and family members via Royal Mail. For anyone who couldn’t make the journey to see my sister in person, they would receive the first pictures of our family’s newborns when they were about 7 days old. How times have changed.
The fact still remains though, that with a three hour drive each way, it’s just not realistic to pop round after tea on any old day of the week to deliver a real-life hug to my daughter, even when she may need one. Her gorgeous little family will not have instant access to practical hands-on help and support from close family living nearby, although they do have many friends locally who are always willing to lend a hand.
What I can be sure about is that we are a whole lot better off now than we were years ago when it comes to bridging the miles. I’m just seriously hoping that no-one decides to switch off the internet, or do away with WhatsApp, Facetime or video calling any time soon, because I know that we will be reliant on technology for staying in touch on a day to day basis with our London-based family for the foreseeable future.