I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed this morning and saw this post being shared by a friend from a year ago:
Today my Moma turned 81! I asked Moma what she wants for her birthday- she said “Chicken Alfredo from Macaroni Grill” check- that’s for dinner. We started talking about her being a year older- she said- all I want is for my family – kids, brothers, sisters, Grandkids, great Grandkids) to have good health, peace, prosperity and happiness. What a great reminder for all of us. I am going to share something a little more personal with my friends- My Moma did not receive one birthday card and only 2 phone calls today wishing her Happy Birthday. If she was on FB she would have received numerous Happy Birthdays- but she is not-What has happened with folks sending a bday card or picking up the phone and spending two minutes to wish someone Happy Birthday? (this is a rhetorical question, no one needs to respond) what a shame! Moma won’t say anything about this- it just breaks my heart.
After my friend posted this, she received over 20 comments from her family and friends wishing her mother a Happy Birthday. All she really wanted to do was vent, but her friends chimed in anyway.
This made me stop and think about social media and what has happened to face-to-face contact and really caring for each other on a personal scale instead of over social media.
So yesterday, my friend updated her post from last year and shared it again:
Today Momma turned 82- pretty much the same except she wants Eggplant Parmesan for dinner! She will definitely have that for dinner!!!
Several people have chimed in to wish her Happy Birthday again this year. But if things are pretty much the same, I guess she didn’t get very many personal phone calls or birthday cards in the mail this year either.
My friend doesn’t know I’m blogging about her Facebook post; however, she does subscribe to my blog, so I assume she will see this. First, DEAR FACEBOOK FRIEND: I’m posting this without using your name or any of your pictures since I didn’t ask for permission, but I sure did want to post a picture of your beautiful mother. Instead, I’ll share this picture of Jeanne Cooper to help make my point. When Ms. Cooper passed away in 2013 at the age of 84, Entertainment Weekly shared this post.
Jeanne Cooper, who played matriarch Katherine Chancellor on CBS’ hit soap The Young and the Restless, has died. She was 84.
Cooper, who has starred in the daytime series since its first year in 1973, had been in and out of a Los Angeles hospital recently due to an undisclosed illness. Her actor/son Corbin Bernsen had been informing fans of her condition via Facebook, where he confirmed her death today. “My mother passed away this morning just a short time ago, peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep. I was going to visit this afternoon, thought I had time. Reminder to self – time is a precious thing. I too am at peace however. I said my goodbyes several times over during the last few weeks.
“I’ll go one last time now for a gentle kiss a final farewell for this lifetime,” he continued. “She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision… won! And while her light finally gave into the wind that gives flight to all our journeys, there will always be a glimmer left behind by what she stood for. I will speak about that more in coming days, months I suppose. I will certainly dedicate what remains of my life to continue her purpose of honesty, equality, humility, empathy and love.”
So now I really started thinking… DEAR FACEBOOK FRIEND: Thank you so much for venting last year and reminding us again this year about your mother’s birthday and the lack of attention she was given. Too often we forget our manners or lose them completely. Social media has actually made us much less personable and much more thoughtless. I appreciate you so much and hope you don’t mind that I am sharing your post anonymously to make a point.
When I googled Jeanne Cooper’s funeral, I was surprised to see so many hits. There were all sorts of articles and videos, including a video that showed how Y&R aired her TV funeral. Her family also had a private service in addition to the public memorial. I should have known to expect that since she’s a larger than life beloved soap opera star. There was such an outpouring of love and support for both her natural family and the Y&R family. Maybe we can learn from this (albeit shaky) comparison of these two vastly different lives. My friend’s 82-year-old mother is still alive and well. We shouldn’t wait until someone has passed away to show how much we love and care for them.
If my rambling thoughts have at least prompted you to think about those you love and hold close to your heart, then I have accomplished my task for this morning. I want to inspire others to live inside the testimony with me. Inside this testimony, we love, support, and encourage each other in a personal way by sharing our lives and our time with others.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines testimony like this:
- An outward sign
- Firsthand authentication of a fact
- A solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official
- An open acknowledgment
- A public profession of religious experience
DEAR FACEBOOK FRIEND: Thank you for venting, and please tell your mother that I said Happy Birthday! Living to be 82 years old is quite a testimony all by itself. Loving your mother the way you do is the bonus testimony!!!
Let’s all remember to share our lives and our time with others in a personal way, not just on social media. And let’s remember what my friend’s mother wanted for her birthday: for my family – kids, brothers, sisters, Grandkids, great Grandkids) to have good health, peace, prosperity and happiness.
Isn’t that what we all should want?