“Well,” Maga said, “I went to the funeral of a friend from the country club today. It was a very large affair. There were a lot of people there. So I’m feeling a bit tired today.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Both about your friend and about you being tired. It was very nice of you to attend the ceremony.”

“Yes, I suppose it was.”

“Did you have dinner there or at your care center.”

“Here in the dining room.” Maga’s voiced was laced with dread. “It’s so creepy watching all these old people spilling on themselves and the tables.”

“I can imagine it doesn’t exactly incite your appetite.”

“No. It doesn’t. How’s the weather there?”

I gladly accepted the change in subject and directed it even further away as I described my upcoming family trip, though we got stalled a bit when she asked me to spell the town name and her hearing + the pitch of my voice switched “a”s and “o”s and I didn’t have the stamina to spell it 37 more times.

“How many of you will there be?” she asked.


“My goodness. How’d we get such a big family?”

“I certainly had nothing to do with it.”

“Well, yes. I know. And I was an only child.”

“But you started this family, so you had a lot to do with it!”

“Well, yes. I know. I didn’t want to have an only child, so we kept working at it to make it bigger and bigger.”

I inappropriately giggled to myself. I felt I earned it after her earlier comment. In the midst of my juvenile spiral, the changing of the guard happened and rounds and rounds of goodbyes and goodnights took place.

When Maga turned her attention back to me, she said, “Sorry about that. Lots of goodbyes and see you laters.”

Considering where our conversation started, I’m supremely happy we are still at the “hello” stage.

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