Skyping with My 83-Year-Old Mother

For over 40 years, I have lived at least 1500 miles from my mother. Our standard routine for many of those years was for me to call her twice a week and chat for 15 minutes. We would catch up on family and life – all the standard stuff family members do.

Then we discovered Skype, and it has changed both of our

I was aware of Skype for a couple of years before we started using it. I didn’t push it because I knew my mother would need a new computer to support the video functions, and she would need a faster internet connection – which meant a bigger monthly expense.

But new computers are only a few hundred dollars and updating the internet connection turned out to be about $30 month, so it was money well spent!

We’ve been “Skyping” for six months now, and we chat for short periods of time several days a week. I’ll be doing something on my laptop and a Skype button will pop up saying that mother is online. I will click ‘video call,’ and we will chat for a while.

The best part of Skype is that I get to see her and she gets to see me. I can’t tell you how much more complete the communication is when you can see who you are talking with. In the past, I could only ask her how she was feeling. Now I can see for myself how she looks and get a good sense of how she is doing. I can also see her smiling – which is great.

And Skype has become a family affair. When my grandkids are around, I show my mother what they are doing. My daughter also Skypes my mother weekly to bring her up to date on the kids.

Skype has truly changed the nature of our communications – and our lives – for the better. If you have a relative living a long way away, I highly recommend Skype!

– Nick Kirby