“I’m eating dinner in my room,” Maga said.

“I just finished dinner myself. I tried something new tonight.”

“What’s that?”

“There’s this service that sends you all the ingredients for a recipe and then you have to cook it. So I tried that tonight, which took me a lot longer than normal, which is why I finished dinner so late tonight.”

“Oh, so you have to prep the meal.”


“How many meals did you get?”

“This week, I got 3, but it makes so much food, I’m going to go down to just 2 meals.”

“That should be enough to take care of things.”

“Yes, that’s what I’m thinking. And what did you have for dinner?”

“Some salmon, rice, and salad.”

“Wow. That sounds like a great meal. I love to hear you’re eating so well.”

“Well, I’m only eating a portion of each.”

“That’s okay. As long as you’re eating.”

“Yes. Did you like your meal?”

“It actually was quite good. Except now I have a sink full of dishes to tackle.”

“Oh, the dishes. That’s something we all have to do.”

True enough, Maga. True enough. But in an effort to lighten up the conversation… “Maga, guess what?! I bought my plane tickets to see you for your birthday.”

“That’s in March.”

“Yes! But it’s a popular time, so flights are filling up already.”

“99 is pretty elderly.”

“I think it’s pretty amazing.”

I detailed (again and again) the various people I know who are also coming to celebrate her.

“It’s a big event in my life.”

“It’s a big event in all our lives. 99 is nothing to sneeze at!”

She seemed overwhelmed by the number of relatives traveling to see her, but with months to prepare, I think she’ll be ready.

“Thank you for calling me and updating me on all this information,” Maga said.

“It’s coming together just this week. It’s all so exciting!”

For the amount of time she asks to see me and others, she wasn’t as excited to hear we would be descending on her as I thought she’d be. Maybe her belly was too full of salmon? Maybe she likes being 98 and doesn’t want to turn 99?

Either way, getting older + doing dishes. It’s something we all have to do.

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