Dad, Mom And Computers

On Friday, September 3rd, 2021, my mother passed away at 6:30PM. I was sitting next to her when it happened; just the two of us. Since then I’ve done a video and a different blog post about her. It’s been mentally tough over the last week or so, which included the service by the grave site on the following Thursday.

Mom was often prescient about what might be coming down the line. So was my dad, who left this world 19 years ago on Father’s Day, 2002, at 4:45PM. I’ve thought about him often over the past few weeks, thinking that soon he and Mom would be together again in their way. That’s what brings me to telling this story about a time when both of them were instrumental in getting me to work with something that’s become a major part of my life, both business and personal.

My parents were instrumental in my getting into computers. I didn’t want a computer; I’d never even thought about a personal computer. Back in 1987, I was a musician; okay, more of a songwriter, but a part time musician. I used to sing at weddings, in the wedding ceremony, and it wasn’t such a bad thing. The one thing I always wanted if I was going to be a performer was everyone’s full attention; I wouldn’t play just for playing’s sake, except when I practiced at home.

I used to play for hours at a time. Every once in a while, I’d be messing around with a motif, and it would produce a song, which usually only took me 30 minutes or less to write, lyrics and all. That’s just how easy it seemed to come to me.

I wasn’t popular or anything like that. I didn’t write anything that could have been a hit (well, one song could have been a hit if Lionel Richie sang it; I sent it to his people, but never heard back), so mostly the songs were for me.

Therefore, I didn’t want a computer. I didn’t want anything that would take me away from my music. I didn’t even watch TV back then. I went to work, came home, played, wrote, slept. On weekends I disconnected the phone and played all weekend long; that’s how serious I was.

But my parents were insistent, especially Mom, that I have one. She said it was the future, and I should be there with it. Then it became Dad’s mantra. Finally, they drove to my apartment one weekend, as they lived out of town, took me to Sears, and bought me my first computer. It was an IBM, and it had a dual floppy drive; my parents never bought the cheapest thing, and that dual floppy drive was the latest thing on the market.

I didn’t do almost anything with it for two years. It was just there as something to take up space. The only thing I did was type up my lyrics so I could save them as a file instead of only on paper; that was pretty smart, I must say.

Two years later, I was at a different job, on a career track, and suddenly the computer meant a lot more to me. Over the years, it started to take over my life.

I ended up buying my dad his first computer; how about that? I did it so we could talk via instant messaging, and he then encouraged all his siblings to buy computers so all of us could talk that way. It’s amazing that, for a while at least, computers brought us all together so we could talk more than any of us had talked to each other before.

When Dad got sick, I used his computer to contact everyone he was in online contact with to let them know that they may never hear from him again; they didn’t. It was amazing how Dad had met so many new friends online; I’d never thought he would take to it like he did. He was actually learning how to do HTML long before I even thought about doing it; he didn’t get far, though.

I owe my present life, regular and business, to both of my parents. They had vision I didn’t have, and for that I’m grateful. I’m missing Mom a lot right now, and that triggers thoughts about Dad, but I know their spirits are in my head. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get through another day. I hope if any of you are going through something like this or might have to go through it one of these days that you’ll find a way to bring peace into your world, along with inspiration to keep trying to succeed.

12 thoughts on “Dad, Mom And Computers”

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Mitch. You took excellent care of your mother. It must be challenging to adjust to life without her, as well as your father. They obviously were a significant influence in your life.

    Your computer story reminded me of when my 81-year-old father bought me my first laptop in 2009 (I resisted! Hahaha!), telling me it was time I came into the 21st century.

  2. Hi Mitch, I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. It’s a tough thing to go through. I miss my parents both a lot. It gets a little easier over time but still rough. We know they can’t live forever, but it’s still a shock and a weird feeling to have no parents left.
    My parents had the first RadioShack Tandem computer so I grew up with them since a little kid.
    My dad at 90 was using Excel for his volunteer work keeping track of voter records. He would call and say can you stop by to help me with this Excel spreadsheet? That amazed me.
    Take care Mitch and give yourself the time to grieve. 🙁

    1. Thanks Lisa, and thanks for the story about your dad. It’s nice that your dad was sharp into his 90’s. I’d have loved for either of my parents to reach that age, but I’m happy for the time I had with them.

  3. In my case, the story is exactly the opposite Mitch. My son, a geek, got me into computers and blogging. I still will be lost without him being around to hold my hands as it were.

    1. I used to be really on top of all things technology after I got my first computer. I wasn’t only the instructor, but I was the guy people came to when their computers needed fixing. It’s amazing that my parents did that for me, especially since I didn’t ever asked for it or wanted to do it. Maybe I should have listened to them more… well, more than I did. lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *