10.20.17 + 10.24.17 + 10.25.17

I dialed Maga’s number on 10/20 to give her some family updates. “Abby?! You won’t believe it.”

“What?” I said, my heart dropping thinking she had some inside line on the updates and knew more than me.

“I was just watching TV. It was sort of dull and I thought of you.”

Oh, Maga. Always keeping me grounded.

On 10/24, our usual night, I gave her a quick ring. “Hi, Maga. It’s Abby.”

“Abby, dear. Can I call you back in a bit? I’m just about to go to lunch.” Before I could question which meal she was headed to, she corrected herself. “I mean dinner.”

“Actually, I have a softball game in a bit and I’ll be home too late to call you back.”

“Oh, well, how about tomorrow?”


There was mass confusion as Maga picked up on the phone tonight because her nighttime caregiver wasn’t there yet.

“Can I call you back, Abby? We need to track down the sitter.”


As I was reciting my phone number for the umpteenth time, the person in question showed up and so the daytime caregiver, M, told Maga to keep talking to me. She tried to hang up 2 or 3 times, but M kept assuring Maga everything was fine and to stick with the conversation. I held the line and eavesdropped.

Suddenly, Maga’s muffled voice came back on the line. “My nighttime sitter was late and I am not happy about it.”

“Maga. It’s okay. People run late. It happens from time to time.”

“It happens to me quite often. I understand it.”

And yet I couldn’t quite understand her rage and poor attempt to talk about someone who was surely sitting less than 20 feet away.

“Tell me about your plans for this week. Any lunch or dinners out?” I said.

“I have lunch plans with C on Thursday. You remember her? She’s your mother’s friend.”

“And she’s my godmother, so yes, I know her very well. She’s the best.”

“I’m very fond of her.”


We waxed some more poetry about C and about the weather there (80 today, snow tomorrow) and the weather here (constant rain) before she once again tried to hang up so she could figure out the transition from one caregiver to the next.

“Thank you for calling,” Maga said.

“Sure thing.”

“Good enough.”

For a week that contained multiple phone calls, we sure had a hard time connecting.

3 thoughts on “10.20.17 + 10.24.17 + 10.25.17”

  1. My mom used to explain it this way to me about my grandparents: “Their world gets smaller.”

    The things they can control shrink. So stuff they can – like the placement of items in the room, the way you prepare the food – all becomes very important. The caregiver being late might make trigger a feeling of helplessness and make her upset. I saw this with my grandmother a lot.

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