Quality of life, for my mom

My mother is a wonderful women that brings smiles to anyone she has contact with. She spreads her energy by volunteering at her church, where she has always been the driving force behind cookies for the kids, welcoming friends old and new, and keeping events rolling along.

When I started my second business, she left her day job to run my bookkeeping group. We expanded the offices and the people working numbers, she kept them all in line. As the years went by we kept an office for her in her and Dad’s house. This way she could work the hours that was comfortable. She is a great example of keeping busy keeps you young.

Ten years back, we sold off many of the businesses as a bundle to a group… keeping a few that were base loaders to new directions. Mom relaxed a bit, took a few bus trips (she still drove but not long distances), took a couple train trips and had fun rooting on the local hockey team. For her travels, we played with CD players, tape players, digital players… nothing has really jelled for her to enjoy using.

Time has passed and health issues have set in. Same spirit, but Parkisons slows her walk and shakes causes her to avoid crowed to keep people from feeling uncomfortable.

Paperback books have always been fun for mom to read. She enjoys quite a variety of books, but generally the smaller layout of the paperback. Holding these open, still, and looking down is becoming more of a chore every day. Generally resulting in a sore neck. Taking away the joys of reading, leaving pleasures missed.

I have done the normal son type things. Being half way across the US has some limitations, driving my folks when they need to get places type of help. Always making they have no wants the best I can, while my sister and her boys are local to help with manual efforts. What seems to be missing is those little pleasures in life that goes beyond helping with changing a light or buying groceries.

Along came the Kindle 2. Julie in the office was the first to actually buy one. She brought it in so we could see if the hype was just marketing hoopla. Nope, we all thought the hardware worked very well. Several of the other team members have eBook readers by other manufactures, all with great features but too many negatives to be a ‘must buy’. It isn’t another thing we would NEED to haul around with us, everyone has smartphones and mininotebooks.

But, for my mom… the Kindle 2 has proven to be a life saver. I purchased one, set it up to an Amazon account and shipped it off to my mom. My nephew buzzed by (on his own, what a great guy!) and helped her get around a bit. She most likely would have found her way on her own, but having others explore with you always makes it go smoother. Another set of eyes, etc…

The beauty of it is that she can rest the device on a pillow on her lap. Paperbacks you have to hold open, the Kindle is always open and ready. She doesn’t have to look down in her lap. Test is adjustable for late evening reading too. Then, to my surprise, she discovered the audio reader feature. Now, she listens more than she reads. When she is interested in a new book, it’s a matter of me finding it Amazon – when ordered it shows up on her Kindle without having to connect to a computer – no extra charge. The second surprise… life is good for her. Mom’s reaction to being able to enjoy her books without pain and shaking being accented by holding a little book is incredible. Who would have thought?!

Another new lesson in life about watching for the less obvious…