Call Me Maybe

This year’s Academy Awards were really long. But even if you didn’t make it through the end, you might have caught the first five minutes when Best Supporting Actor winner J.K. Simmons gave a brief but heartfelt speech.

“If you are lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them,” he said. “Don’t text, don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell them you love them and thank them and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”

I’m one of those “lucky” ones that Simmons was speaking to. Both my parents are alive. In addition, both have gone through serious health issues in recent years. They're a lot better now and for that I’m especially grateful.

Thus, Simmons words really struck a chord with me. But did I call my parents soon after? Or maybe visit them, since each of them live less than five miles from me. Uh, no…neither.

Yeah, I’m horrible. But it’s not entirely my fault (maybe just 99 percent). My parents are guilty, too. The fact remains: our default communication mode remains texting. My parents don’t want to call me because they think I’m “busy.” Well, when it comes to family, you’re never too busy.

Connecting with people, particularly family and friends, is a major component of well-being. Bottom line, whether they’re 5 miles away or 5,000 miles away, keep in touch with your parents frequently, particularly if they live alone. Texting and email are fine but phone calls are better. And if they live near you, get in the car and visit!