“Do you have any upcoming travel plans?” Maga asked.

“Just to Mom/Dad’s for Christmas.”

“Will [Sister J] and Abby be there?”

“Well, I’m Abby, so yes, in fact, I will be there.”

“Oh. Yes. Right.”

“You meant [Sister E]. And yes, she will be there too.”

Maga laughed. “Yes, that’s who I meant.”

“Don’t worry. Everyone confuses our names.”

“So I’m not the only one?”

“Nope. You’re in good company.”

We went round and round about the age gap between Sister E and me (“your mother was brave to have a baby that late in life”), the weather in NE (“you get a lot of moisture up there”), my parents’ recent visit to CO (“they’re such nice people”), their delayed departure (“poor dears”), and my job + how long I’ve worked there (“you are a good employee”) + how many people work with me (“it’s that many?”).

She gets extra forgetful when there’s a change (aka my parents leaving) or some big emotion (sadness), but tonight’s conversation consisted of me doubling back over topics before we’d even reached the end of one. So, yes, dear reader, I admit that during all that repetition and trying to think of different ways to say the same thing, I started keeping track of how often she said certain things: pleasant (5x), nice (17x), and good (8x).

It wasn’t my finest moment as a granddaughter, but maybe the words didn’t matter so much as the company we kept…

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