Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankful this Thanksgiving for Skype

I just got off the "phone" (conference call via Skype between my two brothers' homes and mine) with my American family. We had a lovely hour-plus talk including two nieces, two sisters-in-law, my mom, my brothers and me. In my mind's eye, I could see every one of their faces as though we were in the same room. I heard myself laughing here and there and swore it was my dad's presence, because I found myself acting like him in a typical family call, holding back and doing more listening than talking and chuckling in all the appropriate places. (That part was a little spooky, because at least three different times my own laughter sounded like Daddy's.)

I had been peevish and off-color for the past three or four days, miffed that I couldn't enjoy feasting with the family, or eating turkey in any capacity as it is still rare in Japan and not found on restaurant menus (and I can't afford to cook one just for ME, at home). I had had to initiate a lot of correspondence to coordinate the time of the call, which would be acceptable to the three different time zones we occupy. I spent a lot of time with Skype turned on, sitting in front of my computer, hoping someone would think of me and want to call. As time went on and everyone's Skype icon was still set to 'offline' I began to feel more and more sorry for myself, making me even more peevish when I broke down and called my son to complain of the holiday lonelies.

But today I was so happy to finally hear all their voices and laughter, descriptions of wonderful dishes added to the Thanksgiving Day feasts they shared, have questions asked and answered about Christmas gift ideas and other family-related issues we discussed...the hour flew by in a flash, and I was left happy and satisfied, as full of love and contentment as I would have been to share the holiday with them in person.

All that satisfaction, and it didn't cost a cent--thanks to the wonderful men who invented Skype in the first place and put it out there for all to use. This year I am indeed grateful to you, sirs! May God bless you richly, as your generous invention has blessed my family and me!

Taken at Thanksgiving, 2005, the last time we could spend it all together

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