The Latest from Lola's Diner

Monday, May 25, 2009

Communication Breakdown

I'm saddened and a bit angry. My sister has always been my window to the old neighborhood. Terry, who always knew the latest word on everyone from the old neighborhood, would always call my sister, not only to give her the latest scoop, but also to get the latest scoop from my sister. Then my sister would call me to let me know the knews of the old neighborhood. It was our long distance version of the old tin can and string and it worked. That is until several years ago when I wasn't hearing much of anything from my sister about the old neighborhood, or for that matter, family in Wisconsin that she was still in touch with.

There is something about Wisconsinites (or at least all the Wisconsinites I know) that makes them:
a. not want to cross the Illinois/Wisconsin border to go into Illinois. (Especially if the destination is Chicago, because of Al Capone, who by the way is long dead. Hello!)
b. not want to make long distance calls because of the expense. (Which is silly now, what with the calling plans available and cell phones.)
Awhile back my bff Joey's sister, Cathie found me on Facebook. We've exchanged very little information since she found me and I've often wondered if her Mother was still living. I looked through her photographs on Facebook and didn't really recognize anyone in the photos, other than Cathie. (Joey passed away, I think, in 1989 from a brain tumor. See Six Random Things About Me.)

My sister actually crossed the Illinois/Wisconsin border this weekend, although not traveling all the way to our fair city. Her and her husband booked a weekend getaway about an hour and a half away from where we live. My sister invited our kids to go swimming at the hotel they were staying at, without first consulting me. Wasn't that nice of her? If I didn't drive the kids up there, I'm the bad Mom. Oh, I'm not even going to go there.

Anyway, I asked my sister if she'd seen or heard from Terry lately. Her reply was no, she didn't think Terry had her cell phone number. To which I responded, 'but you still have your house phone, don't you have an answering machine'? Her reply was 'no, we only use the house phone for the computer'. So that effectively cut the string in our long distance version of the old tin can and string. This made me realize that I likely was missing out on a lot of information.

When I got home Sunday night I googled the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and clicked on the obituarys (because I'm all tech savvy like that) and entered Joey and Cathie's Mother's name. Sadly, it came up. She passed away in September 2007. Even though I could not read the full obituary without paying a fee (what's up with that?), the fact that it listed her late husband's name, I'm pretty sure it's her, since it's not a common last name, nor was his first name common. I feel like total shit. I would have dropped everything to go to that funeral. Honestly, I would have. Now I feel terrible and wonder if this could have something to do with the sort of stilted communication we've had via Facebook. Of course it certainly could just be the passage of time, busy lives, etc.

As I write this post in the wee hours of Memorial Day I wonder, should I contact Cathie on Facebook about her Mother's passing? I'm just wondering how I should bring it up. Any thoughts?

Thank you for all your suggestions. I don't have Cathie's phone number, but have made contact via Facebook with private messages, the only way I have of contacting her other than snail mail. I'll do a post to update when I hear back from her and I will have information about my other efforts to cut the tin can and string method of communication through my sister.

Lola's Diner
©2008-2009

8 comments:

I am Harriet said...

One thing that I have learned watching my parents go through this nasty decline while on their way out is that stuff and crap just don't matter.

And, they don't cross the line because they know that we hate their driving and Packers. as in duh.

Kelly B said...

Hmmm, maybe just say you've been completely out of the loop and pretend like you don't know...ask how her mom is and then apologize profusely for not having known....

Patricia Rockwell said...

The way you just described seems the best way--the honest way. You have nothing to be ashamed of. The bottom line is you care about her.

Lin said...

I'm with Patricia--Just tell her what you told us. She doesn't care about all that stuff--just that you care about her and her family. If she is really a good friend, that sort of stuff doesn't matter.

Anissa said...

I agree with Lin and Patricia! Honesty is the best way if she is truly your friend she will understand.

Sherri said...

I agree with the comments that you should call her and be honest. I bet she will be happy to hear from you. She might be feeling guilty herself for not staying in touch.

Jan from BetterSpines said...

Of course you should call. You didn't choose to NOT know; so just pick up the phone and do it.

Lola said...

Thank you for all your suggestions. I don't have Cathie's phone number, but have made contact via Facebook with private messages, the only way I have of contacting her other than snail mail. I'll do a post to update when I hear back from her and I will have information about my other efforts to cut the tin can and string method of communication through my sister.

 
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