Sunday, February 1, 2009

It’s a Small World

“It’s a small world” isn’t just a slogan for Disneyland and doesn’t just apply to children wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Other lands and cultures are not the mysterious settings for fairy tales and novels they once were. Now, we know people from those places, we may have toured them, or features on the Travel Channel makes us feel like we’ve been there.

Other than rare trips to Sedalia or Kansas City, we shopped locally when I was a child. We bought clothes at Nolting’s Department Store and groceries at Cooper’s. My dad was a builder and he bought building supplies at Fagen’s Lumber Yard. Our choices were limited. The world was huge and Stover was just a minuscule blip on the surface.

Now, we have access to online stores and can buy merchandise in a worldwide marketplace. Our choices are unlimited. My co-worker, Brenda, found a rare 50th anniversary National Rural Electric Cooperative Association hurricane lamp on E-bay. A few days later, she got a call from one of her neighbors who said, “I’ll just bring it by and refund your postage.” What are the odds that you buy an item off E-Bay and the seller is your neighbor?

The Internet makes our world smaller whether transactions are with a neighbor or someone in another country. Millions of us reconnect with old acquaintances or make new friends on the Internet every day.

How many people do you know that fell in love with a “soulmate” they met online? I watched an NCIS episode where Tony posed as a female to play a trick on McGee who thought he had finally met the perfect “woman”. It sort of reminds you of a Brad Paisley song, doesn’t it? A lot of people need Brad’s disclaimer, “I’m so much cooler online.”

Through Internet searches, I tracked down two of Jim’s old army buddies. When Jim developed dementia, he couldn’t give the information we needed to file a PTSD claim. I turned to the Internet to contact two of the men he served with in Vietnam. One man had a fairly common name, but I found a piece of paper in Jim’s wallet with an address. Of course, it was unlikely he would be in the same hometown twenty-six years later. The other army buddy had an unusual name, but I had no idea where he lived. After some Internet detective work, I discovered one friend had died from alcoholism and the other lived in Maine.

When I began this blog about a year ago, I didn’t expect many people would read it. Last week, my blog was viewed 222 times. Of course, that isn’t much considering I potentially have a worldwide audience, but it’s a lot for someone who grew up in Stover, population 757.

I often receive emails that say, “I just found your blog today.” One of those emails came from my former sister-in-law. Which makes me think…it’s a small, small world after all.


Cindy said...

Yes I have alot of "small world"stories. And actually It's a Small World is one of my earliest memories of going to Disneyland as a kid. I had an e-bay story also where I bought skating items since we have moved here from a former skater I skated with..

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog today. My husband was diagnosed with alzheimer's 3 years ago he is 67 years old. Even though the diagnosis was only 3 years ago his symptoms started when is was 57 the neurologist said it was depression. At that time he passed the clock, date, president, remember the three objects okay. Of course I was delighted and in total denial. He was getting forgetful, frustrated, angry and just not nice. The depression pills seem to work for a while but deep done inside I knew because his mother had it too but got it much later in life in her late 70's. He is on Namenda and Aricept which only slow the disease down. Was your husband on those meds? I hope now with stem cell research that they'll come up with something new and more promising. What are your views on that? I'm afraid for my children who are 40 and 41. My mother-in-law's brothers and sisters all had it except for a few that died young with heart and cancer don't know if they lived longer they would have developed it too. I know this comment has nothing to do with It's a Small World but it felt good to write about my husbands situation. He all of a sudden seems to be more forgetful and very negative about everything. About friends, his golf game, where we go to eat, what movies we might see. Nothing makes him happy. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for reading this
Sincerely, Pat

L S Fisher said...

Pat, I certainly understand thinking that the problems can be something else besides dementia. At first our family doctor thought Jim's problems were caused by depression. One doctor thought it was low blood sugar and another thought he had a stroke.

Sometimes Namenda and Aricept really help, but nothing helped Jim including a study drug. At autopsy we found that Jim had corticobasal ganglionic degeneration so that might be why the drugs didn't help him much. Although, our neurologist said the treatment is much the same.

You husband is probably negative because he is losing his ability to do the things he's always enjoyed. My husband was a talented musician, but eventually forgot how to play his guitar and couldn't remember the lyrics to the songs he had known for years.

Pat, bless you and your husband on your journey. I pray that you find the right treatment to help you find moments of joy in the days ahead.