Long distance love
When someone says “long distance relationship” it is easy to assume that they are referring to their significant other living far away. As I have reflected on my time home with my family this past weekend, I realized that I’m in a long distance relationship of sorts with my grandparents who live in Hawaii.
As long as I have been alive, my grandma has lived in Hawaii and always comes to the mainland to visit about once a year. Because she was single, her trips to California were always dependent on money and her work schedule. She got remarried two and half years ago to my step-grandpa and since then they both have been able to visit more often.
I also have been able to visit Hawaii a few times and was able to visit with my grandma on Maui. With school schedules and expensive flights, my family doesn’t get to visit as often as we would like.
Between visits, we maintain our relationship via Facebook, Skype and phone calls or texts. Before Skype and Facebook existed, it was definitely more difficult to maintain a relationship because we couldn’t see each other. Looking back at the short 21 years that I have been alive, it is astounding to see the growth of technology in communication.
Because of Skype, my mom, sister and I were able to Skype my grandparents on Easter morning and still share the tradition of spending time with family on the holiday even though we were thousands of miles away from each other. My step-grandpa is a professional Hawaiian musician so I can hear his new songs via video chat before they are released as well.
Facebook allows for a huge range of communication through photos and videos besides just the instant messaging component or writing on someone’s timelines. Even though my grandma could not be there to take photos of me going to prom or other high school dances, she could see all my photos and still feel like she was a part of those special occasions.
While missing holidays or special occasions is difficult, social media and technology can bridge the gap between loved ones that are far away from one another. Whether it is your sibling, grandparent, parents or another important person in your life, it is easy to stay close to them over the summer, long breaks or holidays even if you are separated by distance.