“I had such a wonderful, wonderful time with all of my family here for my big birthday,” Maga said.
“Me too! I’m so lucky I was able to make it out to see you.”
“It gets lonely here, you know. When you have a husband and four children and it’s busy and wonderful and then they’re all moved away or gone. It’s lonely.”
My heart broke. “I get to see you again in two weekends!” I said in a rush to combat the dark shadow of loneliness. It’s a thing I understand all too well. And something I continually hope to reduce with my regular phone calls.
“Yes, I have a work thing. It’s a very short trip, but I’ll definitely have time to see you.”
“How wonderful! What time do you get in?”
“Very very late on Friday.”
“Oh, don’t call me then. Call me Saturday morning. Oh, but you have to work. We can talk on Sunday then. Or before that. We’ll handle it…the way it should be done.”
“We will.” After going over the details 3x prior to this, her sudden retention of detail + demands + willingness to let the details sort themselves out caught me off guard. In a good way.
“I get confused,” she said.
“About what?” I said, confused.
“You seem to be understanding it all okay right now.” Which was the truth. She’d been very engaged in the conversation up to this point.
“Yes, I mean, I’m okay mostly but sometimes I get confused. It happens at 96. I just wish we could do my birthday weekend all over again. Well, you and I will soon.”
And we will. We’ll turn our Tuesday night phone calls into more weekend time together hoarding sunshine and memories to help with any future bouts of loneliness.