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Love, it’s what Makes a Heart, a Heart

We love technology, but can it love us back? Are you more connected to your cell phone than to your partner? Do you hold your phone when you walk instead of holding a hand? Yes, phones, tablets and laptops are great at organizing and simplifying our lives, but I bet most of us would rather receive a real hug and kiss than an “XOXO.” At least that’s what I used to think.

My mom recently celebrated her birthday. What is usually a happy occasion was this year saddened, as the first two callers on her special day were always her father and brother who both passed away in December. Not getting those calls this year left a hole in her heart. Then something happened. Unbeknownst to her (or my “techie” dad), for more than a year they had been receiving voice messages through a cloud service they didn’t know about, having only checked the machine in the den. Over a hundred messages (mostly telemarketers) filled their inbox. But there were two personal messages and they were from Papa and Mark. What’s more, they were birthday greetings from the year before, saved as though for this very reason.

Then two weeks ago I finished cleaning out my uncle Mark’s apartment. The last item I removed was his computer. I had gone through his files, copied some, deleted some and just as I was about to log out for the last time before disposing of it, something caught my eye. Mark had a second email account, one he’d set up as a back up. I scrolled through the inbox, about a dozen emails, all spam. Then I checked the Sent box. There was just one email written five years ago. And it was sent to me.

Hi. It’s me your crazy uncle

I froze. Was it a sign from the other side? I wish. No, I knew it was just a random test email, emanating from a cold, heartless piece of machinery, but at that moment, it had the power to warm my heart.

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