“I’m watching The Walking Dead,” Maga said.

“WHAT?!?” I screeched. Her voice had been soft and shaky before, but rang through clearly and confidently now. “WHY??”

“It’s Jaws. The movie with the sharks. J-A-W-S,” came the caregiver’s voice from the background.

“I’m watching The Walking Dead,” Maga said.

“It’s just a commercial,” said the caregiver.

“I don’t know what is happening here,” Maga said.

I was inclined to believe it actually was Jaws, but The Walking Dead had some sort advertisement along the bottom, which was steady enough for Maga to latch onto whereas the ocean and the sharks inside were not. I played along. “It is October after all. Tis the season for scary movies.”

“Is it scary?”

“It’s about zombies.”

“What is a zombie.” She didn’t so much ask as command me to tell her.

My brain scrambled as I thought of the best way to describe it. “They’re undead people.”

*Silence from Maga.* I tried another tactic. “You know vampires? They’re like that sort of creature, but they eat human brains instead of blood.”

“Oh dear.”


“I don’t know if I want to be watching this.”

“I sure wouldn’t be. I hate scary movies and shows. You’re braver than me!”

“It came on rather suddenly. I’ve got it on whether I want it or not.”

She was referencing the TV station, but also, unintentionally, bravery itself. It often does come on suddenly and whether you want to be or not. Sometimes it’s in big moments like fighting (or running away from) zombies. Other times, it’s in the small moments like when you lay awake in the dark of the night unable to sleep.

Judging from the rest of our conversation, she was going to need a healthy dose of bravery and/or some sort of sleep aid. I’m betting on her ability to keep going despite the scary TV show, the upcoming scary time of night and the scary month (of October) (of her favorite child being away) (hi, Aunt J). Like our phone call, she started out shaky, but she always ends up firm, opinionated, and stubborn. All of which are traits that play well with bravery.

Yeah, she’s ready for whatever comes.

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