*Takes deep breath, lets it out slowly*
Here's how it happened. It was May 13 - 2 days till tax deadline. I decided to go online and do my taxes as soon as I got home from work, but when I tried to log on, nothing. The internet was GONE!! :o :o
My modem was broken.
I went to my sister's house and used her internet to order a replacement modem, and had no trouble hooking it up, but it wouldn't let me get online... it needed to know my modem password. I tried every password I had ever used for anything, but none of them worked... I suspect my password was some string of random numbers and letters generated by a computer and I had never changed it or written it down anywhere.
I can't tell you how hard it was to do anything about it... normally when I have a problem I go online and find a way to fix it... but I couldn't go online!! I tried calling AT&T (my ISP), but could never get ahold of anything but a machine. I called dozens of times, and stayed on as long as 45 minutes a few times, but was utterly unable to talk to a human being... just got shunted around to different departments inside the vast machine. Skynet was in control.
Finally I decided it must be time for me to be offline for a while. I have a very Zen attitude - when my life takes a sudden turn like that I go with the flow and try to find the bright side. And I was feeling like I spent way too much time online, and needed a break. So I settled in and gritted my teeth. But still I kept thinking "soon I'll be back... another week or so".
Around this same time my mom started suffering from really poor health. She had already been on oxygen for 4 years and could hardly walk, so I was helping take care of her and her house. She went to the hospital several times in a few days, and it became clear her time was drawing near. Her passing was quick and painless... Hospice had her on a morphine patch, and honestly I think she was feeling better than she had in many years. She felt she had lived a long and fulfilled life, and had always felt that death was a natural part of the life process... she died a very exemplary death. I hope I'm as brave when my time comes.
Anyway, I inherited some money from her, as well as her car and a duplex she had been the landlady of, where my sister had been living. We had decided some years ago that I would move into the duplex and my sister would get Mom's house, so here I am. I got cable, internet and phone hooked up, and this time no problem getting online... I just booted up after the cable guy left, opened Safari, and here I was!