April 17, 2018

I was distracted by the lingering remnants of the conversation I had with my cab (Lyft) driver. Despite my giving him better directions than the GPS, being polite, and being a good listener, he felt the need to alert me that he’d be praying for my unmarried and childless soul. I’m not sure at which point those two factors were deemed more important than my ability to leave him with a clean car and pay with tip, but I know that at the top of my street, I’d heard enough of my alleged shortcomings and asked to be dropped off. Walking on the sidewalk in the exact same direction he had to drive (down the one way street) was less awkward than another minute in the car with him.

After reaching the safety (and non-judgmental walls) of my apartment, I quickly dialed my Tuesday night gal. Even though my call was later than I’d hoped (as has become the (unfortunate) norm), it’s tradition to talk to her. And I sure needed a kind word or two after that cab ride.

“Oh, hi, Abby dear. Where are you?”

“Home now. Sorry it’s so late.”

“It’s alright,” she said to me. To someone off camera, she said, “Right there. No, a little more to the right.”

Maga was distracted by her painful knees and the nighttime caregiver who was there to alleviate said pain with a mini massage and some ointment. Even though the rest of our conversation was never given more than 55% of her attention, it was still 100% better to cap off the evening with her in my heart than that cab driver in my ear.



April 10, 2018

“I’m so sorry it’s so late!” I cried.

“It’s still Tuesday, though, right?” Maga said.

“It is.”

“It’s the night we communicate.”

Her matter of fact statement is exactly why I was calling even though I knew I’d only have her attention for approximately 5 minutes. The need to touch base on our night is strong for both of us.

“How has 97 been going so far for you?” I said.

“It’s not quite like 57.”

“I suppose it wouldn’t be.”

“I don’t feel terribly perky or with it, but I guess it’s better than not.”

“It absolutely is.”

My optimistic statement is exactly why I keep calling even when I know I won’t have her attention for long. The need to infuse some cheer into the ribbons of loneliness is beneficial for us both.


April 3, 2018

“How’s the weather there,” Maga asked.

“Buckets of rain.”

“Better than snow.”

“In some cases yes. In some, no. Today, with the damp and cold, snow might have been better.”

“Snow is lighter in looks and feel isn’t it?”

Delighted with her optimistic attitude and with the truth of her statement, I heartily agreed. We chattered on about families and holidays and seasons.

“You have to come visit CO in the summer,” Maga said.

“I really want to. It’s been ages since I’ve been out there in the summer. And Uncle P has promised me a ride in his plane.”

“Oh, Abby. You must take him up on that offer. He really likes that plane.”

We chattered on about flights and travel and hobbies and the glorious sunshine in Colorado.

“Well, Abby dear, my caregiver’s rolling over my wheelchair. Until our next phone visit and face visit, good night.”

Retired or not, she should sign up for the CO Board of Tourism because she sure knows how to lay out the beauty of CO, smooth out the ruggedness of travel, and tug one’s heartstrings to get her researching her next flight out.


March 27, 2018

“It was so good to see you this weekend,” Maga said. “Are you home now?”

“I am. Just a little bit ago. I’m now doing laundry.”

“It’s inevitable after a trip like that, isn’t it?”

“It sure is.”

“I can’t believe I’m as old as I am, but I guess I am. According to the statistics.”

“It’s quite the accomplishment!”

“Thank you. What was your favorite part of this trip?”

I took a moment to ponder all the meals out and car rides and outings and stories told and games played and laughter. “I think your birthday cake presentation at Cherry Hills.”

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“Oh, yes. That was quite a moment.”

“What was your favorite part, Maga?”

“The time with you all. Each visit was perfect.”

That’s about the best thing I could have hoped to have accomplished this weekend when Maga turned 97!


March 20, 2018

“Oh, Abby, hello!”

“Sorry to call so late. Traffic was terrible.”

“And were you out at that bar playing that game?”

“Yes and yes.”

“Oh, Abby. I’m so lonely.”

“Maga! I’m so sorry to hear that. But remember, you have a big group coming for you this weekend!”

“That’s right! I’m going to be 79.”

“Umm.” I wasn’t sure whether to agree or disagree.

“Oh my goodness,” Maga said. “I’m not going to be 79, am I?”

“Not quite. But I knew what you meant.”

Because, hey, at almost 97, momentary lapses and loneliness are valid feelings. But family members crowding in to celebrate you are also valid life events, so, Maga, prepare your hearing aids and wheelchair, we’re coming in hot!

(Well, actually, I’ll be fleeing from the forth nor’easter in three weeks, so technically, I’ll be coming in ice cold, but you get me, right??!?! :))