We are well into the second year of the covid pandemic. What a strange time it has been! Someone told me about their use of time, saying that if they need to go to the post office to get a package, that is the only thing they can fit into their day. How happy I would be now to have even one proper thing to do every day. But that is not always the case. On those days I read the daily paper more carefully than ever. If there is nothing else, we will go to the nearby rail construction site to see if the work is progressing well.
But there are naturally also other things to do. Many media and information channels provide interesting content. Not least the phone. Phone use is approaching an art: I float in the stream of my thoughts, dredging up old events. They involve people that I could contact. Finding the phone number can be another adventure. And then the phone call.
The call often begins a bit awkwardly. The person I am calling may not be willing to answer a call from an unknown number, assuming it to be a telemarketer. Nor will they understand right away who is actually calling. Although I think I pronounced my name quite clearly. It may certainly be that I expect them to be more familiar with me than they actually are.
But the gates to the memory chambers soon open, voices grow louder, and a stream of events flows from one speaker to the other. And when I would already be happy to hang up, I hear from the other end: “And you know, there’s one more thing…”. That day of the covid pandemic has been a good one for two seniors.
I married late, just before my retirement, and received a large family as a wedding present. When a ”stepmother” arrived into the family, some needed a shorter and some others a longer time for adjustment. The pandemic has had a major impact on interpersonal relations. Concern for the elders caused the children to organize a system whereby each in turn was responsible for elder care for a week at a time. In a large family, each child has only a few such weeks in a year.
They all do their week of care in their own way. There have been many different ways, all of them good. We often get a phone call at the beginning of the week, sometimes well ahead of time, sometimes toward the end of the week. The classical questions are: “how are you getting on?” and “what do you need?”. We have already shared our real worries on WhatsApp, but we always need help with the digital equipment. Otherwise, there is not much concrete help that we need. We have done our grocery shopping with masks on and are happy to pay for practical outside help against the tax deduction. But there are things that are better done with a helper, such as sorting out the contents of the freezer and washing the windows.
The most valuable thing, however, is the contact with people. In personal phone calls and small group meetings it easier to discuss matters that easily remain unshared in the upbeat WhatsApp exchange. In such discussions the elder may also be the one to help the other person.
We have purchased and been given various audio equipment. Gradually we are learning to use those devices. We use BookBeat to listen to books. We usually also make online searches for the writer’s background, the book itself, and the era where the book takes place.
But the best thing of all was to get the Kuule! app as soon as it was published. It was the spiritual hit of our Christmas without church. We often click pause halfway through the program to discuss what we have heard. The book we listened to first gave us some idea of the busy mid-life years of a city dweller and the life and solutions of people living amid their everyday temptations. The story was so overwhelming that once in a while we shed a few tears.
Then we enjoyed a book about marriage, which appeals especially to young families. We found it also useful for older couples. And the ordained minister enjoyed listening to the other minister discussing matters of marriage. I guess we will have to re-listen some chapters of that book.
Maybe I should now charge my phone, so that I can start listening.
Text: Kirsti Wallenius-Riihimäki
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Erilaisten riippuvuuksien eli addiktioiden määrä ihmisillä on länsimaisissa yhteiskunnissa lisääntynyt voimakkaasti viime vuosikymmeninä. Nykymaailmassa on tarjolla aiempaa enemmän sellaisia virikkeitä, jotka voivat synnyttää riippuvuuden.
Siionin Joulu on lehti joulun kristillistä sanomaa kaipaavalle. Lehti on värikäs, aikaansa heijastava. Hartauksien lisäksi siinä on haastatteluja eri puolilta maailmaa.
Lohdullisia ja riemullisia lauluja taivaasta Jämsän Kristillinen Kansanopiston kuoron laulamana.
Tämä levy vie sinut löytöretkelle lasten Siionin laulujen pariin pienten soololaulajien ja vähän isompien kuorolaulajien mukana. Kuuntele, kuinka koskettavasti, raikkaasti ja mieleenpainuvasti nuori väki laulaa näitä kristillisyydelle arvokkaita lauluja.
Vuoden 2021 ajankohtaiskirja käsittelee aiheita kuten uskonnonvapautta ja kristityn vastuuta sekä pandemian aiheuttamia muutoksia arjessamme ja yhteiskunnassa. Samalla se kertoo luottamuksesta muuttumattomiin Jumalan sanan lupauksiin ja hänen hyvän tahtonsa toteutumiseen.