Ask Honey: Staying in Touch with Grandchildren

Dear Honey, I was diagnosed with a disease called multiple system atrophy (MSA) when I was 60. At that time I had three grandchildren; now I have six. I am the matriarch of my family and married for the second time, and my husband seems to want me all to himself. We live in a small townhouse in a community for those over 55. It’s nice enough, but the rules are very strict. But with my disease, I wouldn’t be able to have my grandchildren stay over even we could in our community.

I cannot speak well because of this disease, and I have to use a walker, but happily I do not shake. I have the computer – thank GOD for inventions! It is hard for me to get around and to not have the freedom I used to have. My children and grandchildren sometimes get impatient with me. What do you think I should do?

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Dear Grandmother,

Use your computer and start a “computer pal relationship.” Also, learn to text on your phone if you do not know how. Kids love to text, and you can have instant conversation. For example, last night my husband and I went to a large family celebration. When we got home, before we went to sleep, I took my iPhone and texted six grandchildren, two daughters and one daughter-in-law. I heard back from all of them within five minutes!!

We all live with family stuff. You are not alone. So do the very best you can and try and smell the roses. And, one last thing…I am glad you wrote to me.