Today, I had the joy of being in an unusually long weekend four days in length. Usually, I’d begin such weekends as a couch potato, proceed through it as a couch potato, and end it as a mad crammer. Instead, I began it by making a short walk to my grandma’s house. This short visit meant more than just afternoon tea, however, as I went there to begin a series of Facebook tutorials for her. Four hours of button mashing later, she typed her first Facebook status at the age of 76. Despite having no vintage, that event has shot up to become one of the proudest moments of my life.
However, let us not focus on how that event gave me immense joy. Let us focus on my pupil, my grandma. She is defying the years to learn Facebook, the means of communication today. The old dog’s willingness to learn new tricks might be down to her natural intelligence, but it’s much more than that. She is perfectly blending in with the 21st century by transitioning herself to the changes of the times.
Let’s take a closer look and put ourselves into her shoes. At seventy-six, people normally begin a sad rot towards depression, ignorance, poor health and senility. My other grandmothers are a testament to this sad reality. One is struggling to remember names, the other battling depression and only meeting her children when she needs hospital care, and another recently passing away due to ill health. (Bless her soul) They are all of almost similar age, yet they let themselves be idle and lonely for so many years, and resign themselves to the fact that they are old and simply cannot do what they used to do.
The grandmother I just visited, however, realized the need to combat the ever-changing circumstances. She realizes that being left idle and lonely could be the most fatal decision one could ever make. She realizes that resignation to your age would be like resignation to your inevitable passing. Thus, she refuses to let age get to her. She requests us, her family, to take her whenever we do trips to the beach. She continues to be an active member for her church choir, to give herself just the right amount of work. She continues to commute to the supermarket on a tricycle like any teenager would do. She faithfully goes to the doctor every month to keep her health in check. She spends her idle time answering crossword puzzles and Sudoku to keep her mind ticking. Finally, like a figurative cherry on the cake, she became a student of modern communication to keep in touch with the young members of the family like me. At 76, she is the only lady of her age that I know who maintains a cellular phone, a Facebook account, and a FaceTime account. It really feels as if she was just one of her daughters, commenting and liking funny memes at will.
My time with my grandmother last weekend was a lesson for both of us. While she learned Facebook, I left her home with a valuable lesson that I should keep in heart as I transition towards adulthood. Never be idle, and always transition yourself to the changing world. You’d live up to a hundred with that mindset, and I confidently believe my grandmother would certainly reach 100.