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June 27, 2013 / diannegray

21st Century online love

There are so many things that would not be possible without this online world of ours. We can talk about people who meet and fall in love online and we can talk about romance and relationships that rise and fall at the push of a button, but this story is different. This story is about discovery and how this online world can close the gap regardless of the distance between two people.

Several weeks ago my mother was taken to hospital with a sore back. She was tired and ill and at the time we thought it was just her arthritis playing up. She was prodded and scanned and put on drips and everything else they do in hospitals when they’re not quite sure what the problem is.

But the news has come that she is suffering from Multiple Myeloma. This illness is treatable and we have a long road ahead, but I’m sure she will keep her eyes on the horizon and take each step with all the power she has used to walk through her amazing life to this point.

She was born in 1930 and lived through times where family members went to fight in wars and there was no instant messaging to let loved ones know who was living or who had died. Death notices came as messages on paper months after the loss of a loved one and even then, it was unclear if they were dead or just ‘lost’. She met my father while working in an office because in those days you had to meet someone physically to fall in love and marry. There was no email or Facebook or dating sites to choose your partner in the luxury of your own home. They had six beautiful children, travelled the world together numerous times, worked in Fiji where they survived the coup d’état in 2000, and were together until his untimely death in 2004.

But a strange thing has happened since my mother became ill. My brother bought her an iPad so she could watch television with an earphone in the hospital if she woke up in the middle of the night. He began to show her how to use it and then he clicked on my blog. How the world has changed for her!

My sister called several nights ago and told me my mother was improving dramatically (and almost miraculously). She was reading my blog posts and comments out loud to anyone and everyone who would listen. Then another thing happened – she started sending me emails. She’s telling me how much she loves my blog. She loves the house I had moved to the farm (known affectionately as the RUC). What a beautiful view I have! How many of those wonderful creatures had I seen! The house looks fantastic!

And then it occurred to me. Because she had never been online she had missed the things I was telling the world. She had been left out of my communication loop. I would call her on the telephone, but this never provided her with a ‘visual’ of what I was doing since I moved 3,500 kilometers away in November. She had missed a huge chunk of my life.

To all those out there who think the internet is only for new love, think again – it’s also for families to remain close no matter the distance between us.

Keep up the good work, Mother! Stay strong and I’m sending you big ***HUGS***

I’ve put some photos below of the children’s visit so you can see more of my life.

Me & my baby girl Chrissy after a day at the Port Douglas markets

Me & my baby girl Chrissy after a day at the Port Douglas markets

Chrissy & Tony enjoying the Great Barrier Reef

Chrissy & Tony enjoying the Great Barrier Reef

The kids at the beach (my three in the middle, for those who've never seen them before)

The kids at the beach (my three in the middle, for those who’ve never seen them before)

This post was inspired by the weekly writing challenge “Love in the 21st Century” (and dedicated to my darling mother).

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168 Comments

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  1. Rose Moss / Jun 27 2013 6:22 am

    Thanks for sharing this touching story.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 6:27 am

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Rose 🙂

      Like

  2. Roy McCarthy / Jun 27 2013 6:30 am

    Lovely post Dianne – every cloud and all that. Your Mum has discovered a whole new world under difficult circumstances. What a good-looking crowd you all are 🙂

    Like

  3. Theo Fenraven / Jun 27 2013 6:31 am

    I read recently about a man in a “home” who just sat in a chair, day after day, staring at the table. Then someone loaded up the iPod with music from the years of his youth and stuck headphones on his ears. From that moment, he work up, started to sing, and was smiling all the time. When people asked him questions, he now talked to them, telling them about when he was young.

    Technology is wonderful.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:13 am

      What a wonderful story, Theo. This new technological world we’re living in is amazing. My sister has downloaded Beethoven for my mother to listen to as well 😀

      Like

  4. javaj240 / Jun 27 2013 6:40 am

    I love this — a different “take” on 21st Century love, but lovely just the same 🙂

    My mother recently began reading my blog, as well — it has opened up new lines of communication between us. It’s been great!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:15 am

      It’s just fabulous that your mum reads your blog. I also have a sister and brother overseas at the moment and two sisters and a brother interstate so instead of writing multiple letters, I can update everyone simultaneously. What a great age this is 😀

      Like

  5. avwalters / Jun 27 2013 6:41 am

    What a great connection. My mum reads my blogs. She does email, too, since my dad passes away. It’s been tough to lure her into the 21st Century, but since I’m 2,500 miles away, it lets her see my world. Even though we talk everyday, sometimes she’ll call to say, “My those emus are growing!” Yes, the internet is wonderful. A swift and full recovery to your mum.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:18 am

      Thank you so much for the best wishes. I love being kept updated on the emus as well! You’re right about it being tough to lure people into this blogging world if they’re not used to it, but once they come along for the ride they’re hooked 😀

      Like

  6. Aimee / Jun 27 2013 6:57 am

    What a wonderful post! And a great looking family you’ve got 🙂

    Like

  7. Anna Belfrage / Jun 27 2013 7:06 am

    As always, thought provoking. Talk about finding silver linings!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:20 am

      It’s always good to see the brighter side of things, Anna 😉 Thank you so much 😀

      Like

  8. Sheila Morris / Jun 27 2013 7:16 am

    What an absolutely marvelous post about your mother and the invitation to your online world. I love that term online world because that’s what it is. And the more we know of our cyberspace friends, the more we care about them. If your mother decides to read comments, too, here’s looking at you Mum from all across the globe in Texas. The Red Man and his Pack are pulling for you to get well! And for you Dianne Gray, we wish you well during these days. Bless your heart.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:27 am

      Thank you so much, Sheila! My mum will read this and will be astounded and feel pretty wonderful that she is getting well wishes from Texas! My love to you and that beautiful pack! 😀

      Like

  9. kozo2013 / Jun 27 2013 7:16 am

    Love that your blog is getting read out loud 3,500 kilometers away, Dianne. What a wonderful connection. I hope my sons let me read their blogs when they get older. And yes, I will be forcing them to have blogs. haha.
    Wouldn’t it be great if we had family blogs. Kind of like facebook, but more intimate and creative. We could write stories where our children start the story, we add, and our parents have the final edit. We could all do challenges and compare notes. We could comment and like to show that we have truly heard each other.
    {{{hugs]}} to you, your mother, and your beautiful family. Kozo

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:30 am

      Thank you, Kozo! I love the idea of family blogs – we could write stories that span generations and it would also deepen our understanding of each other. As always, a wonderful and thoughtful comment from you, my friend {{{hugs]}}

      Like

  10. bluebee / Jun 27 2013 7:26 am

    Wonderful post. Strength to your mum and your family in a difficult time. Your mum has so much to be very proud of.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:34 am

      Thank you so much, my dear 😀 I know your well wishes will lift her spirits no end 😉

      Like

  11. faithanncolburn / Jun 27 2013 7:45 am

    What a great story!! My parents are gone, but I tried toward the end of my mother’s life to get her on the Internet, but she just couldn’t get it. (It was too late. She had Alzheimers, although we didn’t know it then.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 7:58 am

      That’s really sad, Faith – Alzheimers is such a cruel disease. I’m so glad you like this story, it puts faith back in my hearth that there is more good happening in this online world than bad 😀

      Like

      • faithanncolburn / Jun 29 2013 12:11 pm

        There were three years when she really didn’t know anything. But, boy, she had a strong heart. I hope we can make this online venue serve our values. There’s a tendency to accept anything new and call it progress, but a lot of times we serve the new technology rather than it serving us.

        Like

  12. sherrylcook / Jun 27 2013 7:52 am

    How sweet is this! My Mother tells me all the time that if it were not for Facebook & my blog she would know mother about my life. It was great fun teaching her how to use the Internet and she keeps saying “how does it do that?”
    Hope your mom feels better soon!
    Hugs. Sherry

    Like

    • sherrylcook / Jun 27 2013 7:54 am

      I meant … Know nothing about my life! Lol

      Like

      • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 8:02 am

        LOL – I actually thought ‘mother’ was a pretty good word to use there 😉

        Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 8:02 am

      This is really lovely, Sherry! Next thing my mother will be on FB and ‘liking’ everything her children and grandchildren do. I’m sure it will open up a whole new world for her 😀

      Like

  13. JackieP / Jun 27 2013 8:00 am

    Now that is one sweet story. Kudos to mom for being a techie. 😉 You go!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 8:04 am

      LOL – thank you, Jackie. I remember when I first started using a computer and how confusing it was. I think she’s a star for picking it up so quickly! 😀

      Like

  14. Jacqui Murray / Jun 27 2013 8:08 am

    Oh, Diane, you had me in tears–of joy. That is so wonderful. Like you, I wouldn’t have thought to mention my blog to family–I haven’t. What a wonderful story. I am so happy for your mother.

    Don’t you love Skype and Google Hangouts–where you can see each other as you talk. That’s how my son (an Army boy in Kuwait) talk every week. I would be a wreck without Skype.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:08 am

      Oh, Jacqui – it must be wonderful Skyping with your son, what an absolute joy! It’s as close as you can come without actually hugging – I love it! 😀

      Like

  15. Jill Weatherholt / Jun 27 2013 8:15 am

    If your mom is anything like you, she’ll come out swinging! I was so happy to read how her spirits have been lifted after reading your blog posts. You lift a lot of people’s spirits, Dianne! I’ll certainly keep her in my prayers. Thanks for a wonderful post and the terrific photos of your family ~ nice looking bunch!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:11 am

      Thank you, Jill – what a beautiful comment. I’m sure my mother will wholeheartedly agree with you on the ‘nice looking bunch’ comment – she’s very proud of her grandchildren! 😀 And yes – I think she’s a lot like me, a fighter at heart and always grateful for the life she has no matter what the circumstances 😉

      Like

  16. billyraychitwood1 / Jun 27 2013 8:42 am

    I see ‘Amazing’ runs in your family — your wonderful mother, your hubby and beautiful kids! It’s a great, positive story! Wishing the best for your mother – she and I could certainly visit about the old days when radio was the entertaining tool.. With knowledge exploding and doubling so often now, these new I-phones and other tech innovations bring a lot of joy…and, in some instances, can confound and confuse and be manipulated… Cars were like that once when one would grind the gears with the stick shift. We advance, I guess, until we out-think ourselves and become machines!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:17 am

      I’m sure you and my mother could share some amazing stories, Billy Ray! She often talks about her father who was born in 1880 and witnessed huge technological changes that took place in his lifetime – from the automobile to men walking on the moon! But it’s wonderful that this new age we live in can bring us so much closer together when we’re actually thousands of kilometers apart 😉

      Like

  17. lifeonwry.com / Jun 27 2013 8:54 am

    What a wonderful story. Picturing your Mom beaming with pride reading your work…. made me tear up!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:18 am

      Awww – she’s my greatest fan! Such a dear, sweet and supportive woman 😀

      Like

  18. nrhatch / Jun 27 2013 8:59 am

    I love that this new window has opened up for your mom . . . and that she’s enjoying the view!

    And thanks for sharing some great shots of you and your kids. But . . . you look WAY TOO YOUNG to be their mom. Just saying.

    Like

    • nrhatch / Jun 27 2013 9:00 am

      And best of luck to your mom with these health issues. Hope she enjoys a full and speedy recovery.

      Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:19 am

      Oh, Nancy – flattery will get you everywhere! LOL – thank you for the beautiful compliment, you’ve made my day 😀

      Like

      • nrhatch / Jun 27 2013 10:25 am

        Great! Now . . . what’s your secret?
        Clean living?

        Nah, that can’t be it! 😛

        Like

      • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:08 pm

        LOL – Never! 😉

        Like

  19. ramblingsfromamum / Jun 27 2013 9:02 am

    Firstly HELLO to your mum from very cold Melbourne. Secondly I hope the road that she travels will be a kind and speedy one. Loved this post Di (as many others) sharing your family with us in delightful prose and pictures. What I don’t get is how your ‘youngest’ Chrissy looks like your sister!!? I am not ‘throwing the line’ – but honestly…seriously …look at the 2 of you!! 🙂

    To Di’s mum – I hope that by reading her blogs now, you will see how much she is loved, how her writing with thanks to modern technology has brought people closer to her and she to them. You know that she is a very talented young woman, one of whom you are proud. I have abosolutely no doubt that she is equally as proud of you for so many things, especially that you have delved with gusto into the modern world. Hell, I am proud of you!

    Di all we need now is a pic of your lovely mum and the family is complete – Take Care everyone 🙂 xx

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:26 am

      Oh, Jen – what an amazing and inspirational comment! I’m blushing and teary at the same time. I’m sure my mum will read this and it will make her day 😀

      If I ever need a publicist I’ll know where to look – you’re brilliant! 😀

      Like

      • ramblingsfromamum / Jul 6 2013 5:25 pm

        I hope I have been able to brighten her day…. and
        at your command young lady – and I MEAN young 🙂 x

        Like

  20. justinwriter / Jun 27 2013 9:26 am

    Awww, what a lovely blog post, Dianne. It’s wonderful that the interweb 😉 allows everyone to share their thoughts and talents so quickly and easily. Hope your Mother’s health continues to improve.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 9:32 am

      Thank you so much, Justin. Your warm wishes mean a lot to me 😀

      Like

  21. Peter Pazucha / Jun 27 2013 10:04 am

    Great story Dianne! And I suspect it’s true of a great many families! Good that you told us, not only to share your own story but maybe more of us will make a point of letting those who love us know what we’re up to.

    When Peg & I started floating our RV plans to the family I realized that our very close family was going to need some bolstering if we weren’t going to be around to share with and share about. I started writing password protected entries just for my daughter and that has been a huge benefit for both of us. We’ve always been close, but being able to share without censorship or fear of others listening in has been wonderful for us.

    I’m glad your mum is now included in your blog circle.

    It is also wonderful to see you and the entire family together. Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Peter
    A retired Photographer looks at life
    Life Unscripted

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:07 pm

      Thank you, Peter 😀 I often see those password protected posts and think I should do something similar.

      It’s great that you keep in regular touch with the family and I’m sure they appreciate it as well. Happy travelling 😀

      Like

  22. Lipstick and Chaos / Jun 27 2013 10:33 am

    What a wonderful story!! Thank you for sharing!! Hope she continues to make strides toward a better health!

    Like

  23. 1girl4adamwest / Jun 27 2013 10:55 am

    Connection is a beautiful gift!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:11 pm

      It certainly is – speaking of which, I don’t think I’m getting emails for your blogs anymore because I just checked your latest and I haven’t seen it before. I’m heading back there now 😀

      Like

  24. amb / Jun 27 2013 10:58 am

    *amb does a happy dance* Yes, THIS. This is my favourite story of 21st century love that I’ve read so far. You’ve got me feeling all warm and smooshy and I love it! Thank you so much for sharing this with us Dianne! xoooox

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:12 pm

      Awww – thank you so much, Amb! I love your ‘happy dance’ – I’m joining in now 😀

      Like

  25. John / Jun 27 2013 11:12 am

    An excellent post Dianne! Such great kids and God bless your mother. 🙂

    Like

  26. EllaDee / Jun 27 2013 11:34 am

    Good on you Dianne’s mum:) Could you have a word with my Dad please. As I was reading the post, the words that popped into my thoughts were “you can lead a horse to water but…”
    Social media used for good not evil is a boon. We can share and keep up with family and friends and feel so much more connected, if they want to. And we can also make new friends 🙂
    The family pics are gorgeous, and Dianne, in the first photo with your daughter you quite resemble my youngest sister although she is fairer in colouring.
    My other sister (and landlord whose apartment we rent) and I laugh because we have lived in neighbouring suburbs, both worked in the CBD, she has lived overseas and has now moved interstate, and although we might catch up in person from time to time, distance doesn’t really impact as regardless we are in contact via email, text, Facebook and phone…. she doesn’t read my blog though 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:22 pm

      Your comment “you quite resemble my youngest sister although she is fairer in colouring” got me thinking – we’re probably related way back when a thousand years ago 😉 When I see people who look like my family my hubby says ‘same tribe’. Some totally unrelated people can look uncannily alike and it really gets me thinking about where we come from and how far our ancestors genes go.

      One of my older sisters is blonde/blue-eyed and people can sometimes call me by her name (go figure!) .

      We really need to get your dad on the net, it will open up a whole new world 😀

      You’re so right about social media used for good not evil is a boon – there should be more of it 😉

      Like

  27. Bonnie / Jun 27 2013 12:02 pm

    Hi Dianne –

    I adore this post, it just makes me happy!!. It’s fun to see you and your kids, and learn about your mum.

    I remember trying to teach my mom how to use the mouse on a computer once long ago with no success. I am sure it was payback for when she tried to teach me how to drive. She passed before we really got into much internet activity and so never emails, blogs, or facebook with her.

    I love that you are connected to your mom in this new way. And Dianne’s mum…hello all the way from CA in the USA…if you read this, hope you are getting better day by day and love that you have gone digital!

    xo Bonnie

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:27 pm

      Thank you so much for the personal message to my mother, Bonnie – she will be totally thrilled! 😀

      I had a bit of a giggle when you mentioned trying to teach your mother how to use a mouse and relating that to your driving lessons – what a wonderful analogy. I am so sorry she is no longer with you and I’m sending you big *hugs* for you being the darling you are 😀

      Like

      • Bonnie / Jun 27 2013 4:03 pm

        Oh, it is you who is darling…thank you for that…*hugs*. I so appreciate that you and your mom can connect on your blog. It just dawned on me, my mom would have loved to be able to keep tabs on me here 🙂 Trying to teach her how to cut/paste, drag to highlight text with a mouse…oh my goodness, it was hilarious to the point of frustration. But we’d collapse in giggles. Not so much with the driving. 😀

        Like

  28. donnajeanmcdunn / Jun 27 2013 12:07 pm

    Dianne, what a truly wonderful story. Your family is beautiful and they look just like you! You are very blessed and I’m happy I have met you (online). This is a very remarkable age we live in and we should all be amazed and proud to be part of it. I know the Internet has changed my life and I can’t imagine a life without it but family is what’s important and today’s inventions make it possible for us to all stay connected no matter where we live. Your post was very heartwarming and inspirational. Thank You.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 27 2013 1:30 pm

      Thank you so much, my dear. I’m so glad you found this post heartwarming and inspirational and think my family is beautiful (now I’m blushing!) 😀

      I really hope ‘Nightmares’ is doing well for you and I’m putting some time aside to read it soon (and I’m really looking forward to it! ) 😀

      Like

  29. harulawordsthatserve / Jun 27 2013 1:49 pm

    This is really touching, thanks for sharing – well done that brother of yours! Yes, it’s true, with folks I love so far away the internet is the only way to regularly keep in touch. Take care, and blessings to your amazing mother! You can lead a horse to water right…but not all of them drink!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 6:51 am

      Thank you so much, Harula – I love seeing you here, you always have beautiful sentiments to offer 😀

      Like

  30. jessmittens / Jun 27 2013 2:40 pm

    How very lovely! It’s the only way I get visuals of my family who live in another state, too. Social media is the only way I get to see their events in visual!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 6:55 am

      It’s fantastic, Jess 😀 I try to encourage my friends and family to start blogs when they travel so I can catch up on all their adventures. Once you start it’s very addictive 😉

      Like

  31. The Bumble Files / Jun 27 2013 3:32 pm

    Oh, what a heartwarming post, Dianne. I found this so touching. I’m so happy your mom is enjoying your blog and that you can communicate this way with her. It is a powerful thing that we share here together, as is evident with your mother. I hope she continues to feel better.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 7:03 am

      Thank you so much, Amy 😀 Her diagnosed is now ‘advanced myeloma’ but she’s is still in good spirits and will start treatment on Monday. She is such a strong woman, I’m sure she will do well (and follow doctors orders) 😉

      Like

  32. restlessjo / Jun 27 2013 5:40 pm

    Fantastic share, Dianne! A whole new world for your mum, and I can definitely equate to that. 🙂
    I’ve just finished reading a first novel by Alison Jessup called The Mind’s Garden about the Second World War and separations. How lucky most of us are in these times.
    Wishing mum a speedy recovery 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 7:07 am

      Thank you so much, Jo 😀 Do you think this would be a novel my mother would enjoy? She doesn’t like a lot of swearing or gratuitous violence…

      I’m sure she will be thrilled by your well wishes, so a big thank you again 😀

      Like

      • restlessjo / Jun 28 2013 7:17 am

        She might well do. The language is clean and the violence is incidental to the story- war prisoner stuff but not laid on thick. She’d like Min, the young doctor’s Mum 🙂

        Like

      • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:20 pm

        Cool – thank you so much 😉

        Like

  33. mrscarmichael / Jun 27 2013 5:48 pm

    Firstly, such ‘luck’ to your mum. Wonderful post, fab photo of you and your beautiful daughter.
    I often think about what my dad would make of the world today (he died in 1972) and the whole internet revolution. It’s really come after my mother’s death as well and having lived 12,000 miles from her I wish it had arrived sooner (for all its faults).
    Speaking of Fiji and coups, we lived in Wellington next door to the Fijian ambassador’s residence and in the 1970’s there was a major uprising. The ambassador at the time was Indian (a lovely man). he and his family were literally thrown out of their house and forbidden to return to the country of their birth. He had to make a whole new life for them in NZ.
    I have always been a little ‘ambivalent’ towards that Pacific isle since that time.

    Keep reading Dianne’s blog, Dianne’s mum. It’s a goody!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 7:12 am

      What in intriguing story about the Fijian ambassador, Mrs C! My parents worked in Fiji for AusAid after my father retired – it was an amazing experience for them, though I’m sure my mother would totally agree with you on the way the the country is managed 😯

      Thank you so much for your well wishes – they’re very much appreciated here 😀

      Like

  34. starproms / Jun 27 2013 6:02 pm

    That’s a very touching post Dianne. I wish your mum well with her recovery and hope the doctors can keep that illness under control for her. Your children are beautiful and must give you such pride.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 7:14 am

      Thank you so much, Oma 😀 I absolutely love seeing pics of your children and grandchildren as well – what an amazing time we are living in to share these photos and experiences with each other 😉

      Like

  35. adinparadise / Jun 27 2013 6:40 pm

    Wonderful story, Dianne. I wish your mom all the best. I’m sure she’s having excellent care from her doctors. How marvelous that she can now read your blog posts and be in touch with family and friends on e-mail. My MiL at almost 100, is thinking of getting internet too. Love your family photos. You’re a good looking lot. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 29 2013 7:33 am

      I’m so glad your MIL is thinking of getting on the net as well – this is absolutely fantastic, Sylvia 😀 Thank you so much for your well wishes (and lovely compliments!):D

      Like

  36. maggiemyklebust / Jun 27 2013 7:04 pm

    Great story, great post and it sounds like you have a great mother, Diane.
    Internet has really changed the world 🙂
    ps
    Your children are gorgeous!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:35 pm

      Awww – thank you (don’t tell my children that or it will go to their heads) LOL 😀

      Like

  37. Vikki Thompson / Jun 27 2013 7:40 pm

    Awwwwww 🙂

    I hope your mums ok Dianne (((((hugs)))))

    Lovely photos 🙂

    xx

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:36 pm

      Thank you, Vikki! Hugs always welcome here 😀

      Like

  38. Zen A. / Jun 27 2013 7:58 pm

    This is such a refreshing take on this challenge, Dianne. I met love on the internet, but it’s important to note that there are different kinds of love. 🙂 I hope your mother makes a speedy recovery. And those pictures are absolutely lovely!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:37 pm

      Thank you so much, my dear Zen. I just read about your love on the internet – such a beautiful story, it really made me smile! 😀

      Like

  39. Rohan 7 Things / Jun 27 2013 10:32 pm

    Lovely story Dianne, that’s really sweet!! I wish the best to your mother as she begins her journey with this illness, and the challenges it will bring 🙂

    Love the pictures too, what a great clan 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, really poignant!

    Rohan.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:38 pm

      Thank you so much, Rohan. Your best wishes are really appreciated, my dear friend 😀

      Like

  40. mcwoman / Jun 27 2013 11:29 pm

    I wish my mother would have embraced technology, but she was too stubborn to learn. God Bless your Mum that she’s taken the step toward connecting with you. My Dad got to see and talk to my brother who lives in California — about 2,000 miles from here — on Skype while he was in the hospital. Dad was amazed he could talk to his eldest son on a “picture frame.”

    P. S. You kids are beautiful.
    Barb

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:43 pm

      Thank you, Barb – the kids are all big sweethearts as well 😀

      Skype is something we haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure that will be next. I was so sorry to hear about your father and I hope you’re okay ***hugs*** xoxoxo

      Like

  41. bulldog / Jun 27 2013 11:54 pm

    Whats the saying.? “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.. well that just goes to show, you can teach old people new ways… I think it’s marvelous that your Mom can now keep in touch with you, email and read your blogs… Linda (my wife) is/was not an IT type person and she felt she never would be… bought her an iPad and walla there she is all over the place now and even teaching me how to use the pad, she still wants to use the laptop but tends to think the key board is like the old type writers and expects to see the letter arm pop up… also tends to leave dents in the underside of my laptop… so I’ve banished her to her iPad where she has the touch of a feather… love this post… “Hi Mom if you read this comment… now you must start commenting on your daughters blog…”

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:52 pm

      Thank you so much for the great comment, Bulldog! I really believe we can try to get people to do something, but until they really want to (and begin to understand it) it’s near impossible. My hubby has just got an iPad for work and he was thumping it with his big clumsy fingers – I had to show him how to touch it softly to make it work better – LOL! 😀

      Like

  42. Polysyllabic Profundities / Jun 28 2013 12:08 am

    Such a beautiful story!! I hope your mom is doing well and continuing to improve! We are thinking about getting my mom an iPad as well….this post makes it a very easy decision. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:54 pm

      That’s absolutely wonderful – I’m sure she will love it. It’s just important to have someone there who can show her how to use it. Best of luck and let me know how she goes 😉 **big smile**

      Like

  43. ocdreader / Jun 28 2013 1:40 am

    I LOVE this story – it makes me so happy (it reminds me of those phone commercials about people staying connected that always made my eyes wet – did you have those over there? Apple should be taking note). Your mom is awesome and going to continue walking her road with style and authority.

    Mom – We are rooting for you from California and hope that you do start commenting on Dianne’s blog so that we can get to know and love you as much as we do her. 🙂

    Dianne – You have a lovely family and I have greatly enjoyed going along with you all on the road trips, dinners, snorkeling and snake wrangling adventures. With warmth and affection – Elisa

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 2:57 pm

      Awww – Elisa, now my eyes are all misty from your comment! 😀 What an absolute darling you are xoxoxo

      Like

  44. bluestempond / Jun 28 2013 2:07 am

    Diane, I copy my blog entries to a Word document and print them for my 88-year-old mother and put them into a binder so she can look at the pictures and read it whenever she wants. She is not able to learn how to work electronically at this point, so she really appreciates being included this way, too.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:00 pm

      This is a wonderful idea! 😀 There is something very beautiful about including our parents in our on-line lives and you’ve found a fabulous way to do this. Very well done indeed 😀

      Like

  45. char / Jun 28 2013 3:00 am

    Yea! I’m so glad she’s getting to enjoy this part of your life now. And I wish your mom and speedy recovery.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:02 pm

      Thank you so much, Char. Learning how to navigate this online world is a huge change for her and she is embracing it like a champion! 😀

      Like

      • char / Jun 29 2013 1:17 am

        Good for her!

        Like

  46. Britt Skrabanek / Jun 28 2013 4:34 am

    Look at that gorgeous fam! What a neat story for you to share with us, Miss Dianne. Of course, when are your stories NOT neat? Um…never.

    I, too, believe in the closeness that this internet monstrosity can bring. All of my family is far away, but it keeps us in tune with one another when we can’t be together.

    Sending healing vibes to your mother right now.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:08 pm

      I love your healing vibes, Britt! 🙂 You’re so right about this ‘monstrosity’ we call the web and it’s fabulous to think that the good outweighs the bad. It’s wonderful that you can also keep close to your family in this way. Have a beautiful weekend my dear! 😀

      Like

  47. cestlavie22 / Jun 28 2013 5:23 am

    This is so very true. My late Grandmother found the internet before she passed and she found “love” in emailing. All of us in the family would get upwards of 20 emails ranging from jokes, e-cards and other things letting us know she loved us and was thinking of us. This made it possible for her to keep in touch even though she could no longer physically come see us. The internet may have a lot of faults but you have certainly highlighter a major asset.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:19 pm

      It’s so touching to hear your grandmother found “love” in emailing – what a beautiful thing for her and for the entire family. I love the way she sent jokes and e-cards – what an amazing woman she must have been (with a great sense of humor, I could imagine!).

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this lovely story 😀

      Like

  48. ly / Jun 28 2013 7:54 am

    Dear Dianne’s Mom, Are you reading the comments,too? Your daughter answers each one with a kind thought. She also reads our blogs and comments on things we write. Even though I am far away in the United States, I’ve made a good friend online–your daughter! Take care to follow doctors orders. Prayers are going up from here. Smiles–Laura

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:22 pm

      Thank you so much, Laura. I’m pretty sure she’s not sure how to put comments in yet – but knowing her as I do, it certainly won’t take long! 😀

      As always, your comment is thoughtful and beautiful – thank you again, my dear friend 😀

      Like

  49. Letizia / Jun 28 2013 8:38 am

    What a fantastic reminder of the powers of internet, Dianne, and of family love. I was so touched by your words as well as by your photos. I hope your mother gets well soon!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 28 2013 3:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Letizia! It’s wonderful to see you here today and I’m so glad you liked this post – it means a lot to me. Have a fantastic weekend, my friend 😀

      Like

  50. Rick Mallery / Jun 28 2013 10:03 am

    What an awesome idea, Dianne. Way to go! 🙂

    Like

  51. danpentagram / Jun 28 2013 4:51 pm

    What a touching story, Dianne. It really makes you wonder sometimes though, how often do we go to great lengths to keep in touch with our ‘online’ family over our real family. It makes you realise – i’ve spoken to my ‘online’ family multiple times this week, but i’ve only spoken to my mother once. I’m going off to call her right now.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 29 2013 5:37 am

      Oh, Dan! How very true and this is so touching! What a lovely thing to do and I’m so glad this post inspired you 😀

      Like

  52. Minuscule Moments / Jun 29 2013 8:44 am

    Dianne what a beautiful story, we have only just given my mum an ipad and she loves it. Technology is here so we can connect with the world when we cant be there right in the moment and we can send virtual hugs to our loved ones and friends, I hope your mum is getting better every day. I am giving mine lessons on email today.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 30 2013 7:22 am

      This is lovely, Kath 😀 What a wonderful world we live in when we can teach our parents about ‘our world’ 😀 Thank you so much for the best wishes, my friend 😉

      Like

  53. jmmcdowell / Jun 29 2013 9:31 am

    What a wonderful post for your mother, Dianne! I’m a few days late to see it, but I hope she continues to do well and is enjoying catching up with your blog. My mom reads mine, too, and keeps up with me and other friends and family on Facebook. For all our complaints about social media and today’s wired world, I’m glad we have the ability to keep in touch with those now far away from us. Best wishes to your mom!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 30 2013 7:25 am

      Thank you so much, JM 😀 I’m so glad you share your online world with your mother – what a wonderful woman she must be (facebook will be our next lesson)!

      It’s never too late to comment and I’m very appreciative of your best wishes (and I’m sure my mother will be as well!) 😀

      Like

  54. ripe red berries / Jun 29 2013 1:05 pm

    I love this post Dianne!! Made me miss my mom – and feel so happy for you and your mom!! xox How fun for you all!! (: enjoy the weekend!!

    Like

  55. Janna G. Noelle / Jun 29 2013 1:16 pm

    Dianne, this is a wonderful story. It’s true that we often have a very active online life that the older people in our lives miss out on. It’s kind of sad that we often share more with “strangers” than our own family members. But now your mom has a window into an important aspect of your life. I’m glad that she’s improving. And if she’s reading right now, Hi Mom, I hope you get well soon! 🙂

    P.S. Your daughter looks so much like you!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jun 30 2013 7:30 am

      I totally agree with your comment “It’s kind of sad that we often share more with “strangers” than our own family members”, because that’s what I was trying to say somewhere in this post and wasn’t sure how to word it! 😀

      Thank you for your well wishes – very much appreciated 😀

      I’m so glad you think my daughter looks like me – she’s such a wonderful girl and I absolutely love her to bits 😉

      Like

  56. Denise Hisey / Jun 30 2013 1:01 am

    Such a great bonus -love this story, Dianne!
    (and love your pix, too!)
    😉

    Like

  57. moderndayruth / Jun 30 2013 4:18 pm

    Dear Dianne, may your mom recover asap! Healing energies sent her way! I always translate for my mom stuff i write on my blog, so not to leave her out… it matters. 🙂 xxxx

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 1 2013 6:05 am

      Thank you so much, Lena – your positive healing energies are always welcome here! 😀 I think it’s wonderful that you also share your blog posts with your mother xoxoxo

      Like

  58. anitadresden / Jun 30 2013 4:35 pm

    Thank you Dianne, for sharing that personal story about your mum. Lots of prayers for her. You know I am one of these mums who has had children to raise as computers became the “in’ thing. I have enjoyed the technical road thus far, but like most things it has its up and downs. I think it is great for people like older mums and dads to look at iPads and such and see and contact their loved ones. My dad is house bound and he loves his. But I find it sad that our style of writing has changed and that the personal side of things is becoming unnecessary if not obsolete. Be chatting soon.Just saying…

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 1 2013 6:11 am

      Hi Anita. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I see you also live on a farm in Queensland – it’s great to meet up with you in this online world 😀

      It’s wonderful that your dad has also found the iPad to be a great way to keep in touch with the world. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers – very much appreciated 😀

      Like

  59. the eternal traveller / Jun 30 2013 9:10 pm

    Best wishes to your Mum Dianne. The internet is an amazing invention. Our older daughter is about to embark on another amazing travelling/working adventure and so many people have said to us how sad we must feel or how much we must miss her. But the reality is that we are able to keep in touch almost every day via Skype, Facebook, email and phone. We would never tell her not to go because we would miss her, rather we encourage her to explore the world and follow her dreams.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 1 2013 6:25 am

      Thank you so much for your best wishes 😀 I love the fact that we can keep in touch using this medium. When my children go overseas I know where they are daily because of Facebook! They don’t have to contact me and tell me they’re doing fine because I can just log in and see what adventures they’re up to. I absolutely love it 😀

      Like

  60. tchistorygal / Jul 1 2013 5:14 am

    Dianne, How precious. I love this post. My mother never did master the computer even for emails. We talked by phone every day when we live 1,000 miles apart. I am so thrilled that you and your mom have this experience together. You are both so lucky to have each other. And your kids, too – they are gorgeous! 🙂 Online is a great way to communicate with loved ones. 🙂 Have a great week! 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 1 2013 6:26 am

      Thank you so much, Marsha! 😀

      Like

      • tchistorygal / Jul 2 2013 10:26 am

        You’re welcome! Wait a minute, I didn’t do anything! You did! Enjoy your blogging with your mom. I love your posts. You are way too busy, though. No more books, yet. Don’t you wish you could just pump them out! I’m hooked, girlfriend. 🙂

        Like

  61. Lizzie / Jul 1 2013 10:35 am

    Hope your Mum improves soon Lovely! Rob and I got my parents an iphone on the weekend. They’re already texting my sister photos and looking at facebook! So happy for them that they’ll be able to see the family updates I’ve taken for granted. Looks like you had a great time with the family. Look after yourself and kisses for Daddit xoxo

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 1 2013 1:20 pm

      Awwww! Thank you so much my darling, Lizzie! I just love seeing you over this way 😀 Give my love to Rob and the kiddies! 😉

      Like

  62. Tracy / Jul 2 2013 4:20 pm

    I love this post Diane, thank you for sharing your photos, you have a family to be proud of and I bet your Mum feels that way too. I’m sorry about her diagnosis, this kind of news is always tough but your Mum sounds like she is willing to take on new challenges and adapt to new ways of life – the iPad, email. With such a supportive family and so much love around her too she has a winning team on her side 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 3 2013 5:37 am

      Thank you, Tracy. You’re such a strong person as well and a good support network is so important at times like this.

      I can’t stop thinking about your poor little Caspar since I read about his plight a few days ago – still very sad 😦

      Like

  63. jannatwrites / Jul 3 2013 12:21 am

    This is such a great story. I love it when the internet is used to bring people together (rather than for the purpose of spreading hate, which can sometimes be the case.) I’m glad your mom has taken to the iPad. Sometimes technology can frustrate older people. I know my grandma never could figure out microwaves once they had push buttons instead of dials (and forget about the cell phone.) This almost makes me want to tell my friends and family about my blog. On second thought, I think I’ll keep it to myself for now 🙂

    I like the pictures – thanks for sharing them. Everyone looks happy (and exploring the Great Barrier Reef – that’s awesome!)

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 3 2013 5:43 am

      I’m so glad you like this, Janna 😀 (actually, I still can’t figure out push button microwaves – LOL). My mother is doing okay and I keep in regular touch with my sisters who are great and let me know what the doctors are saying and how she’s feeling. I know she’s got a large support network around her at the moment, but I’ll be planning a trip to see her soon 😉

      The Great Barrier Reef is awesome and just on our doorstep. The kids had an absolute ball 😀

      Like

  64. Lisaman / Jul 3 2013 6:54 am

    What an amazing woman your mother must be… bravo for learning to understand modern technology!!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 3 2013 7:00 am

      Thank you, Lisa! She is indeed amazing and I’m sure will love your comment 😀

      Like

  65. Margie / Jul 3 2013 12:46 pm

    Wonderful story! I can relate to your description of how communication has changed, having lived through the days when I’d send my husband off to work for two weeks in the Arctic and not hear from again until he was able to find a land line at the airport to tell me he was boarding the plane to come home.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 3 2013 4:28 pm

      Good grief – the Arctic, how interesting!

      It’s so hard to find a public phone these days. I remember when there used to be one on just about every corner 😉

      Like

  66. Kourtney Heintz / Jul 4 2013 8:10 am

    One of my grandmas is an internet adventurer. The other refuses to touch computers. I think the latter misses out on so much. Glad your blog is helping your mom reconnect and get better! 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 4 2013 12:46 pm

      Thanks so much, Kourtney 😀 This online world we live in has certainly widened my horizons as well 😉

      Like

  67. pommepal / Jul 5 2013 9:48 pm

    How lovely that your Mum can now follow you and see you and be connected with you and your family in this wonderful world of blogging. I started my blog 3+ years ago so our family could keep up with our travels, but, like some one else mentioned, it is my virtual blogging community that comments and keeps in touch more than the immediate family.
    I wish your Mum a speedy return to good health

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 6 2013 6:45 am

      Thank you so much 😀 I absolutely love following you on your your travels!

      Like

  68. Maddie Cochere / Jul 7 2013 9:42 am

    Oh, how sorry I am to have missed this when you first posted, Dianne. What a wonderful story! The pictures of you and your children are beautiful. Please send our love to your mother and tell her Rich and I will be praying for her recovery. My mother doesn’t read my blog. Maybe some day. 😉

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 8 2013 4:58 am

      Thank you so much, Maddie! 😀 I think your mother is missing out on something very special – I LOVE your blog 😉

      Like

  69. Marianne / Jul 7 2013 4:42 pm

    I enjoyed reading your story, Dianne. You are so right about online love not only being for “romantic” or “new” love – but also for families and friends.

    The main reason I started my East of Malaga blog was exactly for that reason, as I live 1200 miles away from close family who are still in England, whilst I live in southern Spain. I have friends and family scattered around the world and yet we are all able to keep in touch through this one place.

    I’m so glad your Mum has now become a part of your online world and is seeing and keeping in touch with you through another medium. I also wish her a speedy recovery. 🙂

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 8 2013 5:05 am

      Thank you so much, Marianne. This is a wonderful time we live in and it’s great that your family can actually ‘see’ what you’re doing from so far away 😀

      Like

  70. helpwithyourlife / Jul 8 2013 12:58 pm

    What a touching post Dianne! Love the connection between you and your Mom through your blog! This is when technology is a beautiful thing!

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 8 2013 2:09 pm

      Thank you, Cathie! It really is wonderful that we can now share our lives this way 😉

      Like

  71. karenblopezkaren / Jul 8 2013 10:56 pm

    Dianne,
    I am finally reading, “Wolf Pear.” You are one wonderful writer. But I guess you already know that. So glad I found you.

    Karen

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 9 2013 6:15 am

      Thank you so much, Karen. This means a lot to me (in fact, you’ve made my day!) 😀

      Like

  72. Naomi Baltuck / Jul 12 2013 10:24 am

    Dear Dianne,
    This is a great post! It’s wonderful that your mom is getting better, and also that her world is opening up. So many elders get left behind and fall out of touch because they are terrified or incapable of learning how to use the internet. Good for her! It helps her to see you as the admirable professional that you are, and any mom would be proud and impressed.
    My ninety year old cousins June and Haskell love my blog, and that is just one way that we keep in touch. They use their computers to stay in touch with everyone by e-mail. It’s how we plan our family reunions–the one in Texas was our third, and we’re already talking about the next one.
    You have a lovely family! Best wishes to you all.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 12 2013 1:34 pm

      Thank you so much, Naomi! The pictures of June’s 90th are fantastic! 😀 It’s great that you can post them for all to see and enjoy.

      Like

  73. DaydreamsinWonderland / Jul 17 2013 9:05 am

    Finally, I have the time to give you the proper response to this. (Better late than never, right?)
    I think that’s so sweet that your Mom got to read all of this. I’m sure it just brought you even closer.
    Please send her my love.
    I know she has to be an amazing woman to have raised such a kind, loving, person like you. 😀

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 17 2013 12:16 pm

      This is such a sweet and sensitive comment. Thank you so much, I’m sure she’s reading this as we speak 😀

      Like

  74. Anon / Jul 21 2013 6:04 pm

    As an oncology nurse, I find this blog post really distasteful. Myeloma is an incurable cancer and your mother is seriously ill. Insinuating that giving her an ipad and access to your blog would result in a ‘miraculous’ recovery is fantasy at best and seriously trivialising the disease at worst. The work of the Doctors, nurses and carers in stabilising the disease and assisting your mother has not been mentioned. It takes more than ‘on-line love’ to support cancer sufferers.

    Like

    • diannegray / Feb 10 2014 2:04 pm

      I haven’t approved this comment until today. The reason being my mother reads my blog and I didn’t want her to think:
      1. You are actually an oncology nurse
      2. You knew what you were talking about when you stated ‘Myeloma is an incurable cancer’
      3. That someone who professes to work in the medical profession could be so blatantly naïve to think that family support and love have no place in medicine
      .
      I am not a doctor so I can neither prescribe nor administer the medicine she needs. I can only do what any other child can do – try to make her happy and comfortable and to feel as if she is loved. When she reads my posts and smiles because I’ve said something funny or she sees a picture of my children or what I’m doing with the house (she can’t travel here to see it for herself) I feel as if I’m doing something instead of nothing.

      My mother was given the ‘all clear’ news from her doctor last week. You’re welcome.

      I sincerely hope you don’t put comments like this on the posts of other’s who are doing their best to put a smile on a loved one’s face because if anything is distasteful, it’s people like you who think they can take out their negative thoughts and bitterness on others while you wear the mask of Anon.

      Like

  75. Lynda / Jul 26 2013 10:40 pm

    Dianne, your post made me teary eyed. I’m so glad you and your mother have this accessibility to each other. I agree, this new and amazing technology definitely trumps letter writing. Recently, I have been reading WWII letters from both mine and Bob’s sides of the family. They are amazing slices of history, but so painfully one sided.

    Sending my prayer for many blessings for your mother’s health and continued healing.

    Like

    • diannegray / Jul 27 2013 10:38 am

      Thank you so much, Lynda. My mother is responding very well to the medication the doctors have prescribed for her. I really believe this, as well as being in contact with the world through her new ipad and having an open line of communication has done her the world of good. And as any good doctor will tell you, being in a positive frame of mind at a time like this is very important 😀

      The letters you are reading sound very interesting indeed. My mother-in-law has boxes of these that I would like to look at one day. I could imagine it would be very sad, but also an incredible slice of history.

      Like

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