“What’s the weather like there?” Maga said.
“Raining, but warm.”
“No snow yet?”
“No, thank goodness. It doesn’t usually snow heavily until late in December or early in the new year.”
“I find as I get older I hate the snow. It’s not as fun as when I was younger and could go sledding.”
“Uh, when was the last time you went sledding?”
“Good gosh. Probably 30-40 years ago.”
“What have you been up to lately?”
I took a deep breath. “Well, I need some advice.”
“Okay. Go ahead.”
“My boss is out on vacation and there’s this big meeting tomorrow that I’ll have to attend in his absence. I’m so nervous.”
“Write down a list of the things you want to say and do so you don’t forget. And think about it ahead of time so you know what you want to figure out at the meeting.”
Those are both things I do / will do / have planned to do, so this advice is right up my alley. And before I could ask her for anything further…
“Your mother and father are coming to visit Thursday.”
And just like that, we were back where Maga controlled the topics.
“Yes, they are! What sort of stuff do you have planned for when they visit?”
“Well, not much. I am 96 you know. They will stay at the house and probably clean it out. They cleaned out a lot before I just found out. I hate losing things.”
“But you’re not losing the memories.”
She may have been in control of the topics, but I was able to focus her attention where it mattered.
“Tuesdays are always a bright spot in my life because you call,” she said.
And just like that Maga reminded me that no matter if it was little details or big stories, our calls contained conversations that were evenly balanced.