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My cell phone passed away today. Yes, after five long years of being together he just decided he'd had enough. And right in the middle of a conversation, mind you.
I refer to my phone as a male because after all the things we've been through together, no decent female would leave without so much as a goodbye. One minute I was talking, the next minute he was gone.
For the past few weeks, I had known that he was ailing. His heart had not been ticking all that well, needing to be charged quite frequently. Eventually, he was so weak, that if he wasn't plugged in, he'd lose his juice and start beeping, calling out to me: I need energy. Feed me.
Please, I begged, just hang in there for a few more days.
We had been through so much together and I just wasn't ready yet to let him go. He was the first one had I turned to when I broke my foot, when my grandchildren were born, when my father was in the ER. I cried with him over an editor's rejection. And laughed with him when retelling funny stories.
We had braved the lake on a kayak, prayed together while snow shoeing and shared many a glorious sunset strolling along the beach. Not to mention all those boring hours spent in waiting rooms, check-out lines and airport terminals.
Granted, he wasn't very Smart. He couldn't get on the Internet. And an App was as foreign to him as it would be to Alexander Graham Bell.
Yes, he was just a simple phone and often times he didn't always perform that function so well. Dropping calls and often times keeping me from important messages.
Every time we went to my sister's house, he would take a nap as we traveled through the mountains. And while in Mexico, well forget it. He went on a permanent siesta.
Still, I mourned his passing.
And for a few days, I just couldn't replace him.
During that time I realized the freedom of not having a phone. I got in my car and drove off, knowing that no one, absolutely no one could get in touch with me. Like back in the "old" days.
Oh, granted it caused a minor glitch in the market when I reached for him to call home. But then I decided so what if I forgot something? What difference did it make if I bought home the wrong cereal? No one was going to die from this mistake.
And I was a bit lonely at the carwash. Especially when I turned to talk to the person next to me and realized she was involved with her phone. Looking around, I realized everyone was texting and talking, staying within their own small circle of friends.
It made me a bit sad to realize how much the world has changed. What happened to those days of striking up a conversation with a stranger? Sharing intimate details that we often don't share with those we know too well. Sometimes those conversations are cleansing and can help us face our problems with a clearer head. And sometimes, they are just plain fun, a great way to spend a few minutes of our time.
Of course, I couldn't exist too long without another phone. I did eventually get a replacement - a newer, fancier model. As I dropped my old friend into that big box where old phones go to be recycled, I wished him a happy reincarnation.
Who knows? We may meet up again someday.
Until then I just want to say "Thanks For The Memories."