Keeping it real and Keeping it positive.


My dad would have LOVED Facebook. I was thinking today about the power of staying connected. I opened my Facebook news feed and there were pictures of a baby shower of one of my surrogate ‘daughters’ taken and posted by ‘another surrogate daughter’. I felt like I was there…smiling at every picture and imaging the fun had by all. The guest of honor’s mom couldn’t be there either, but because of the miracle of technology she too can enjoy these moments in the life of her first-born having her first-born!

My dad never finished high school. He worked for the same company from age 16 until he retired in his 50’s. He loved to learn! Anything new that came along he wanted to learn how to ‘use it’. He likely never owned a typewriter but he had got a computer in his 70’s. My mother had Alzheimer’s and sadly, was not able to communicate with daddy anymore in a way that he enjoyed. They lived in northern Ontario in what started out as their cottage and then became their retirement home. Winters were pretty isolated and travel wasn’t easy with the roads and mom’s condition, so dad discovered the internet. He got an email account and learned to ‘search’. He found people around the world with the his sir name and reached out to them. Dad had ‘internet’ friends from Australia to Texas and you would have thought they had grown up together. Dad loved to stay connected! He passed away before Facebook was popular. My siblings and I often say that how much Dad would have LOVED FB. I imagine he would have had more ‘friends’ than all of us combined.

Staying connected is such a high priority to me. I will use any means possible. I love most of all time with family or friends, one on one if possible. I love watching their faces and feeling their emotions. I love touching..hugging is my personal favorite thing, but we can’t always be in the same room…so we get creative. I do spend a lot of time on Facebook and email. Some of my friends think that is so impersonal and just avoid it at all costs, but to me it is a great JOY. I read a status update or email and visualize that person at that moment. Often I pause and say a prayer for him or her but ALWAYS I thank GOD for having that person in my life.

The other day I was on Facebook and one of our former cadets who is in Afghanistan now ‘popped’ up on ‘chat’. I hadn’t heard from him in ages and ages and it was so wonderful to catch up. I could see his face, imagine him in his uniform across the world defending our freedoms. He was so excited to share with me that he had ‘run into X and Y’ there in his area and it felt like home. All three of them had been in Bible Study together as cadets and now they were able to share a brief ‘reunion’ of sorts in a far off land where often things seem so disconnected, but for those brief moments they CONNECTED…and I got to be part of that through Facebook Chat!

One of my favorite things is video chatting. I wish my parents and Barry’s had been able to watch our kids grow up on computer screen. We didn’t get to see them much as we moved around in the Army. We did our best sending photographs and such, but it wasn’t the same. Since our oldest Grandson was born 4 and a half years ago we have been part of his life. We have watch he and now his brother have ‘tummy time’ and smile. We have played ‘peek a boo’ and ‘attended’ birthday parties. We have shared meals as the laptop has a place at their dinner table. I can’t begin to express the JOY that this ‘connection’ brings to us. I’ve video chatted with deployed soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan and that is pretty amazing.

As I LOOK BACK I see the faces of so many people who have impacted my life. I wish I could bring them all into one room and give them all a HUG and tell them in person how much I love them and what they  mean to me. If they are no longer living I hope I did that with some form of communication. I never want to ‘wish’ I had said something to someone after they are gone. As I look FORWARD ( to include the present) I commit to staying connected. I cherish my family and my friends, both old and new and I want to always tell them by whatever means possible…in person, on the phone, in a letter or card, on FB, on SKYPE, and now in my BLOG……

STAY CONNECTED…..it’s worth the time! 

                                                                      My dad on his 80th Birthday!


  1. Janet D'Ippolito says:

    Oh l saw his earlier and just KNEW that l had to wait to read it in full and reply…even our brother David called to ask me if l had read Barb’s post so that made it even more important that l wait.

    YES our ( almost said my) Dad would have LIVED on facebook..and true..he would be seeing his great grandchidren like he never got to see his grandchidren,He would have had friends all over the world and would have drived us crazy with being on CHAT all the time. I remember him being here with us recovering from his problems with diabetes when Julia was at Queens..Even then he would holler up to me…”Jan, Jules is on line..hurry so we an talk to her!!!” … Ahhh but l was too busy being SOO impossibly busy with my ‘oh so important life,’ that l all too often let that moment slip by. But my Dad knew what was truly important…the moments that you can never get back. The first test at university, life in the dorm at 12 at night, and if he was here..his great-grandsons birthday cake or dinner with Mikey and playying Wii bowling…my sister GETS it…just like our dad!!

    As l have been FORCED to slow down with my health problems and what life has thrown my way in the past few years, l see things differently. I LOVE keeping in touch too. With my nephews in Australia and Arizona, my nieces from Florida to Fort Mc Murray, Waterloo to Etobicoke and with all my other daughters all over and great nieces and nephews. I even wrk o my Itaian with my husbands famlly in Italy..and l enoy every minute of it,… Life is way too short, the wors ets smaller and smaller and appreciate more today than ever before how important HUMAN CONNECTIONS are..and l agree with my wonderfu sister..hugs are the best,…AND l dont mind sending and receiveing long distance HUGS from my friends and family any way l can..yeah… Daddy would have LOVED facebook. MISS you BIG time pops….


  2. Janet D'Ippolito says:

    sorry l sent before editing…but l think you can read it anyway..lol


  3. Jan, thanks for your post. You also should blog..you’d be great. It is true how life takes twists and turns and what that teaches us. Don’t be hard on yourself….you were always there for your family….all of them on all sides. YOU’RE the one who kept daddy and helps David and was there for Mother. You are the BEST and don’t ever forget it…
    HUGS from Cyberspace!


  4. Barry Willey says:

    Wow…I am so blessed to be part of such an amazing family, in the US and in Canada – these two Fishback women…my wife, Barb and her sister, Jan (and their brother Dave, Jan’s husband Rom, and kids Anthony and Julia) truly bless my heart and inspire me to be a more effective communicator. For sure, Dad Fishback was a pro at connecting with his family…and loving them unconditionally! We all love and miss him… he has inspired us to stay connected and committed to family! God bless him!


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