My Mother-in-Law’s New Cell Phone

On filial relations, translated…

Awhile ago, around the time for offering to the dead, I’d gone back to Daxi to help my mother-in-law shop for the offering things, alongside her neighbors, the group of us, went to the marketplace. There were, a lot of people, buying up the meats for the offerings, there was already, a long line in front of the butcher’s stand, I’d suggested that everybody go to another shop to get the fruits, that I’ll, stand in line to wait for the meats, so everybody doesn’t waste all her/his time on standing in life and waiting, and, we’d agreed, to meet up at the local land guardian’s temple nearby afterwards.

a grandchild showing his grandmother how to use a smartphone…not my photo.

As I’d walked to the land guardian’s temple, I’d not seen my mother-in-law and her troupe, I’d waited for a couple of minutes, then, recalled how my youngest sister-in-law had, bought my mother-in-law a new cell phone, so, I’d started, dialing. After the phone rang for a long time, I was, redirected to the voice mail system, I thought, that maybe, my mother-in-law wasn’t done shopping yet, and I’d, waited for a bit longer, then, I saw my mother-in-law and the rest of her friends, exit from the temple, perhaps, they were, having a conversation with the volunteers who worked there, and sat down to have some tea.

After I’d confirmed with everybody, that nothing was missed out on, we’d gone home. At lunch, I’d recalled how my mother-in-law didn’t pick up her cell, and I’d asked her if she’d switched her phone to silent mode? Told her, that if we couldn’t get in touch with her, we would all be so worried. My mother-in-law, after hearing, told me lightly, that she didn’t know how, to answer her cell. But, based off of my impressions, my mother-in-law was used to placing her phone inside her pockets, from the very beginning, the most basic kind of cell, to now, the smartphone, my youngest sister-in-law had, gotten it for her. My youngest sister-in-law’s business was on the rise, and, all the items in my mother-in-law’s that needed replacing, she’d replaced them one by one, and, she’d bought a very highly functional cell phone for my mother-in-law to use, and naturally, it shouldn’t be, that hard to manage.

As we were finishing up with the dishes, I’d taught my mother-in-law how to check her calls, and to receive the calls, how she’d needed to, slide to the green buttons to receive the calls, after she’d nodded that she’d understood how to use it, she’d placed her cell phone, back into her pocket again; but, two days ago, I’d wanted to go back to visit her, and called her up on her cell, but, nobody answered it. Later on I’d asked her about it, she’d still told me, that she didn’t know how to pick up the phones.
elderly who’d gotten, all caught up with the times here…not my cartoon!

It’s not uncommon for the elders to forget, so, I’d taught my mother-in-law how to pick up her calls again, believed, that if I’d taught her a couple more times, then, she will be able to use it well, but on that very day, as I was checking for her ringtone settings, I’d accidentally clicked the screen, and it’d shown me the call records, and all of a sudden, I’d understood, why my mother-in-law couldn’t learn to answer the cell phones.

In her call records, other than a few calls from her friends, relatives, there’s just my number. My mother-in-law’s sons, my younger brothers-in-law, had never even, called her up, not even once, even my husband’s youngest sister who’d bought my mother-in-law her smart phone had, never even, called her up. And, all of a sudden, I felt, very sad, isn’t buying a brand new phone for one’s own mother, a good thing? But, this brand new cell had, rarely, any call records, no wonder, my mother-in-law couldn’t understand, how to pick up the calls, because she’d rarely had, any chance, to answer a call from someone, but even so, she’d still, carried her cell phone inside her pocket every single day…………

My mother-in-law, who woke in the morn, and carefully, placed her cell inside her pant pocket, is she wondering: will my cell phone ring today???

So, this, is what’s happening, to the elderly in this world, generally right now, they’re given the tools, the hi-tech gadgets, and, someone HAD, taught them how to use them, but, they’d, forgotten, not because they can’t keep their short-term memories intact, but because, there are, not enough instances that they get to, use their, newly learned skills, and, I’m sure, that this daughter-in-law, after realizing the exact reason of WHY her mother-in-law didn’t know how to answer her phone, will call her mother-in-law up more often, because that, is what the elderly population needs from the younger, to show more care and concern toward them, not just given them some brand new tools, and teach them how to use it once, then, vanish, and besides, that, is not how you treat your elders, is it??? Of course N-O-T!


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