“ABBY DEAR! We were just talking about you. Did you try to call last night?”

“I did. Multiple times. I left you a message. Did you not get it?”

“I was on the phone with [Sister J] and [Cousin C], so I must have missed you.”

“Well, I got the answering machine, so you weren’t on the phone. Maybe you were out? Can you get messages on that phone?”

“I have a portable phone that sits on the charger here.”

“Yes. But can you get… Well, regardless, I was especially sad not to talk to you since it was Jobo’s birthday.”

“Yesterday? December 7th?”

“No, yesterday, June 13th. How old would he have been?”

“Let’s see. He was a year older than me, so 97. Can you believe it? That’s so close to 100.”

“In fact it is.”

“It was also [Cousin C’s] birthday. She’s here in Colorado, you know.”

“I do know.” And then I went on to explain the nature of Cousin C’s internship to Maga, who was suitably impressed.

“She just got back from a semester abroad,” Maga said.

“Looks like yet another one of your grandchildren have the travel bug.”

“I guess so. Do you really think that’s from me?”

“I do.”

“Did you tell me you’re going to be in Salt Lake City soon?”

“That was not me, though I wish it was. I’ve never been there. Have you?”

“Yes, I believe I was. Sometime with Jobo I’m sure. But don’t hold me to it.”

“I promise I won’t.”

“I’m so glad we are talking tonight because it sure gets lonely around here.”

“I understand that all too well.”

“Yes, you and me. We understand loneliness.”

Even though she literally took that moment to hang up on me (because a caregiver had arrived with medication), her words “you and I” left a “we” shaped imprint on my heart, which was now beating a less lonely tune.

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