Stroke of genius?

I called my 86 year old Mom for help.

“Hey, Mom, I need a picture of your cabin in Canada.”

“Okay,” she said, “come over and get it.”

“No,” I told her, “I want you to get it off your computer, and email it to me.”

“Oh, ummm….where is that?”

“Where is your computer?”

“No, don’t be ridiculous. Where is the picture on my computer?”

“I don’t know. Don’t you?”

Maybe I did have to go over there and get it.

“Okay, let’s start at the computer. Are you on your iPad or your desktop?”

“Let me go to the big computer, the picture has to be on there because your

In folder marked "Canada"
In folder marked “Canada”

brother-in-law made it my screensaver.”

I hear her sneakers tweak around the kitchen floor, her bedroom door makes a little squeak as she opens it, and the whirr of her desktop hums through the phone line as she boots up.

“Okay, now what do I do?” she asks matter-of-factly. She calmly clicks on all the buttons I direct her to. We get all the way to the photos stored on her desk top and we are at an impasse.

“Mom, do you know where the photo is stored? Like, what folder is it in?”

“Well, I guess it’s in the one marked ‘Canada’, does that sound right?”

“Just try it. See if it’s in there.”

For some reason, I don’t hear any computer buttons clicking on the other end of the line. Silence, with a little breathing is the only sound coming through.



“What are you doing? I thought you were looking in the file marked ‘Canada’. Did you find it?”

Now she’s exasperated. Technology has won again. She is frustrated and annoyed, and I have no idea why.

“Ugh….I have been waiting and waiting for the keyboard to come up so I can look for the picture.”

“Wait…what? I don’t know what…..Wait….are you on your iPad or your computer”

“I’m on the computer. I told you that’s where the picture probably is.”

I realize that this octogenarian is trying her best to be in the 21st century. She has willingly taken on a desktop and an iPad. She puts up with her children trying to train her like an organ monkey over the phone, and sometimes it’s just too many things to remember. Plus naming every button as a “square thingy that looks like a tv,” or a “the blue e thingy,” usually ends up with a trip to Mom’s house anyway.

” Um….Mom, look down at your fingers, there’s your keyboard. It doesn’t come up on the screen like the iPad. You’re using the actual keyboard.”


We both burst out laughing. She does indeed send the picture.

Caregivers need to give credit where credit is due and…..

“You just have to Laugh….”

©2014 Cathy Sikorski

0 thoughts on “Stroke of genius?

  1. this is a good one Cathy!!. reminds me of my mother-in-law. not so great with computers. the funny part of this. has happen to me concerning people my age. who i expect would no better.

    still i love this… smiles!!!!

    1. How true is this for each and everyone of us? The ‘help’ goes down the generational line. I’m just so proud of my Mom and even us for hanging in there and not letting technology get the best of us! Smiles right back at ya’ Jerome, as always!

    1. I am always in the chocolate….but that male strippers thing…Hmmm..yeah, I’ll look into that. Thanks for reading Shannon. We, too are on the path to ‘elderly’..Yikes!

  2. This is so cute…and actually, it kind of reminds me of me. When I used a PC, my son used to try to talk me through things, but sometimes we’d come up against it–like the time he told me to find the home key. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, until he began to describe it as “the key with the Windows logo…” “Oh! The flag key! I know that one,” I said. Thus convincing him that I should not be allowed outside on my own, let alone be in charge of a computer.

  3. That is hilarious because you MIGHT not know the rest of the story… About two weeks ago, I spent over an hour on the phone with her trying to train her how to take a picture of her beautiful gardens with her iPad. She must have hit the camera button 40 times and insisted that it wasn’t working. The next day we talked again. She finally figured out how to view her photos and found 40 copies of the same view of her garden. THEN we spent the next hour trying to get her to email me one if the photos!!! Hilarious. Gotta love her..,

  4. Dear Cath,

    I am laughing! Apparently Octogenarians right to passage includes telling us “Don’t be ridiculous”. Gotta love it!
    I am certain now that my Mom is using that laptop that I know she has, but tells me it is not up and running yet. She doesn’t want me to be coaching her!
    I am still amazed she is a texter. Most of the time,” I am so tired. I will call you tomorrow. I love you.” Of course I text back. love. sleep well, etc. Our Moms do know their technology better than they realize. They just have not had that, brain click, that is techno confidence. I do laugh!

    Love you too, thanks for more laughter! Beth Ann