lola guerrero

50-something empty-nest-search-for-God-and-happiness with more than a dash of humor

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Detoxing From My Smartphone, Part 3


Everyone here is gorgeous inside the Valkyrie night club.
The lights are dim. Maybe that’s why.
Ladies wear their hair long. There are lots of skin-tight dresses and hot pants with six-inch heels that prance around as if they own the place. Me? I have on my long black printed dress with two-inch heels. This is my go-to outfit when I attend a bible class.

Slowly I sip my drink and glance all around me. I am fascinated by how the ladies can wear these sky-high heels. They might fall and break a hip. Then what?

I can feel the energy and anticipation of how the night might unfold as the dancers move to the beat of Michael Jackson’s Rock With You.

I wanna ROCK with you . . . aaaalll night . . .

My last night in Manila we had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Christopher’s friends and basketball teammates joined us, too.
I had angel hair pasta, truffles with prosciutto, and red vino to sip and savor all evening.

About half of them had their cellphones on the table and were busy checking whatever it was that was urgent. Probably, Twitter accounts. They would look down at their cell, then look up to talk, and then look down again.

how do you work this thing

how do you work this thing

I didn’t take this behavior as rude. It was just my observation–these young heads moving up and down. It is what it is. This is my son’s generation. They do not detox from their electronic devices. Ever.
The cellphone is now part of the table setting.

After our past a dinner, would you believe they asked me to go clubbin’ with them? Again!
Anyone tired?

I told them, “I’m flattered you desire my company and I know you all love me, but think I will pass. I gotta go pack.”

“No, stay up all night.” They pleaded.
“All night? ” The last time I stayed up ALL night, you all weren’t even born and Ronald and Nancy were living in the White House.

“You can go straight to the airport.” They egged me on.

I smiled.  What a bunch of fun people! They want me to stay up with them.

Oh, to be 25  years old again. I wouldn’t mind having firmer buttocks and one less chin. I would love to see my waistline and have more energy. But, I would want to hold on to my wisdom–the stuff I know now. My strength, my surrendered spirit, and to know  that I’m not in control. God is. And that is my truth.

Inside my son’s condo, I began to pack and wished he and his family lived close by. However, I noticed that I felt proud of my ability to accept. I can let go of my young adult offspring.

Part of me wanted to stay longer and part of me was ready to go home.

What got to me was missing Napoleon waking up at 7 a.m. ready to play. I would miss his screaming for milk and to be carried. Though my back ached from carrying him. I would miss putting him to sleep in my arms while singing silly songs.

Looking on the bright side, I “get to” do this–visit my son for two weeks. For this, I’m grateful.

My son and his girlfriend asked me to extend my stay. I thought, How sweet. If only I had no penalty changes related to changing my departure flight . . .  I wouldn’t mind another three days of sunshine, tank tops, and limp hair.

I know this: I believe God hears us when we pray. Those times before a vacation, he knows we want to see our children filled with love, closeness, and laughter.

When my son asks me to stay longer, I know I must have done a few things right in my parenting.

FYI–for parents visiting their grown up kids and staying with them–my advice is: Know when to arrive and when to exit.

Fish start to smell bad when left too long in the refrigerator, ya know?

Dear God,

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

Thank you for going ahead of me on my trip and for lighting my path.
I had no vertigo episodes, no sickness on the plane, and just a few headaches due to too much red wine. It was nothing that two Tylenol couldn’t cure.

Thank you for the time I had to get to know my son and his family and for the time spent hanging out with his friends.

I pray for all the parents out there who visit their grown up sons and daughters this holiday season.
May the time of being together be full of laughter, great conversations, and thankful hearts.


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Left Behind

The iPhone 6 Plus is here! I have been waiting
for it. Oh, the design. It’s sleek, lighter,  slimmer
and has bigger frame to see the
chubby cheeks of my grandbaby, Napoleon.
Who cares that I may not be able to understand 98%
of what the iPhone can do to make my life quicker,
better, easier on this planet.

My excitement for a new phone equates to buying
a designer purse or shoes. With my hand on my heart
I say, “Lola, calm down,
it’s ridiculous to upgrade. You upgraded in June to an iPhone 5s
because the 4s was: OLD. And you are still learning how to figure out the 50+ apps that are on it.”

Change is good, change is constant, change is everything.
My son, Ralph, said to me, “Mom, you’ve got to ride the waves.”
I agree. However, can we slow it down a notch?

This is what I’m concerned about–my elderly relatives who
I shuttle each week to Rite-Aid and the dentist
to get their dentures adjusted and how they get left behind.

This makes me sad, more so because we are related and I see myself as a much older person when I look at them.

This week my Aunt Lucy asked if I can drive her to T-Mobile to
see what is wrong with her cell phone. She is 91 years old,
still has all her marbles, and she knows all the avenue names and
street addresses. She even knows
where all the cemeteries are located.

She tells me she can’t hear the ring tone on her cell, she can’t get to
her message box, and she lists a few more minor fixable issues. I looked at the phone, but had no success.

I soon realized my limitations when it comes to computers and
cell phones. I’m not as tech savvy as I would like to be.
I have yet to learn about DropBox, WhatsApp, I-message,
and Twitter.

Being left behind is no picnic. I notice more than anything
with the elderly is they have no one to talk to. They are isolated.
In their youth, they had a phone the size of a shoe box, could dial the number, and talk to a friend.
Now, if you want to talk to your children you touch a small phone
screen or you text, email, or Facebook them. All of these things are hard to do if you did grow up learning how to do them.

What can we do to stay connected as we grow older? What is our responsibility to our family, friends, and elders?

I do know that when I’m with my older relatives, I have to pray
first that God will shower me with patience. I really need it.
I also ask God to give me the ears to listen.

On the flip side, I realize that I also need these gifts from God when I attend my computer class every Tuesday at my local senior community center.

Seated next to me at Starbucks, I overheard the instructor, Bruce, telling a senior citizen how to navigate through her email. He noticed me eavesdropping.

Then, he handed me his card.
Would you believe he used to work
for Apple as an tutor? I took that information and his card as a SIGN for me to take his class so I WILL NOT be  left behind.

Dear God,
Change is never easy. I feel for my aunts and
mom who have a difficult time keeping up
with our technical world.

My prayer is that everyone today will be
more conscious of our senior citizens. Bless us
with compassion and patience.
Let us be first to notice them and say hi.

Let us not overlook them.

Remind us each day that it won’t be long until
we are the ones who need a ride to the grocery
store and dentist.