My father is deeply plugged into the Russian-Jewish email superhighway. He probably receives a hundred emails a day from his friends, who share what their friends shared with them. Emails range from articles on politics and culture to YouTube videos to scary fake news like “Don’t update your current version of Skype – Microsoft will start charging $10 a month with their next release” –a hoax.
Every day, after my father finishes his breakfast he sits down in front of the computer and diligently reads his emails. Then he makes his own contribution to the email superhighway: He forwards emails to friends and relatives (that is, to my brothers, my kids, and me). I usually get emails on culture and music.
I have to admit I used to get fairly annoyed by these emails. I am horrible with email, as it is. Emails bring me guilt – I constantly feel bad about not answering them. (If you have been on the non-receiving side of my failure to answer emails – I am sorry). I am still dealing (not) with emails from a year ago. A dozen emails a day from my father with articles and YouTube videos only added to the guilt.
A few days ago my father gave us a little scare. He felt weakness in his arm and leg and was hospitalized. Tests revealed that he had had a micro stroke. He temporary lost partial movement in his right arm and right leg. He has regained full movement in his arm, but the leg will require some physical therapy.
The same day that he got back from the hospital I started receiving emails from him again – the email superhighway is alive and well. However, this time around I discovered that my perspective on my father’s emails had completely changed. Now every time email from him shows up in my inbox I experience joy. Yes, joy! And now I am going to find time to read those messages, too – if my father thinks I should read them, then I will.