Weekly Zoom With the Family Is A Positive Benefit of the Pandemic

Weekly zoomGG (Great Grandmother) Lee is 97 years old. We got her an IPad years ago as a birthday present and she is pretty proficient. Since the start of the pandemic, like many other families, our family has set up a weekly Zoom. GG loves this time, giving her a chance to connect with all of us at one time. I saw this perspective column in the Washington Post, February 7, 2021, and realized that Zoom for family gatherings for all of us is a positive benefit of the pandemic.

Our family was scattered across the globe before the pandemic. Of those who participate in the weekly Zoom calls, GG, PopPop and me, his sister and her decades long significant other, his sister’s son and his wife and their two of GG’s eleven great-grandchildren live close to each other in South Florida. We have one daughter and her family, the two oldest great grandchildren, who live in Connecticut. We have one daughter and her family, with three great grandchildren who live in Ohio. We have one son and his family, with one great grandchild, who live in Minnesota. Pop Pop’s sister’s daughter and her family, with four great grandchildren, live in Australia. They join our 7:30 pm Zoom at 9 am their time, and the next day for them.

Yes, we all lived scattered across the globe before the pandemic but what was also scattered was our connection. Zoom has helped bring us all closer together, and much more often than before. GG is our family glue and this Grandma has written often about the importance of rituals and traditions in fostering closeness of families.

See, previous post, “The Grandma Glue: Keeping Families Together for Holiday Rituals and Traditions.”

See, previous post, “Grandma as the Storyteller and the Importance of Rituals and Traditions for Our Grandchildren.”

Who would have realized that it would take a worldwide pandemic to bring such joy to GG and such closeness to those she holds dear. GG, at 97, intended to travel to her grandson’s Bar Mitzvah this past November, as she had her granddaughter’s Bat Mitzvah last year. Nothing keeps GG down with her optimistic and outgoing attitude, but we, her children, know how difficult travel is for her. The Bar Mitzvah was on Zoom due to the pandemic. We were all together virtually and the family rituals and the traditions of our heritage remained intact. We wished we could all be together but, as it turned out, our Australian branch was expecting a new baby, so in person was not to happen for them. Zoom would have been a blessing, pandemic or not.

Zoom has taken over our pandemic life, and it does have limitations, but this Grandma thinks it has become the glue that holds together many more families than we realize. Most families became long distance families during this pandemic with social distancing. I was curious when Zoom was started. According to Wikipedia, Zoom was developed in 2012 and is the 5th most downloaded mobile app worldwide in 2020 at 477 million downloads. I imagine that Zoom did not recognize how successful it would become.

The Australian baby boy, GG’s newest baby great grandson, two weeks old, joined last week’s zoom call, GG’s eleventh great grandchild. It was such a special time for all of us. GG got to see, all at one time, her oldest great grandson, now seventeen and soon off to college with the youngest newborn. The memories created for all of us will remain forever.

What a blessing Zoom has been during the pandemic connecting family and friends when we could not be together. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and life passage events. We have missed the hugs and kisses, and dancing and more, and in person closeness, but closeness can come in many forms. Even in a pandemic, there is a positive benefit, and we can still find

 

Joy,

 

Mema

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