“Hello, Abby dear.” Maga’s speech was slow and very slurred. “I was dozing in the chair after dinner.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to wake you. I’ll let you go.”

“No. No. I like talking to you.”

“Okay, I’ll stay.”

I let her set the pace and as she cleared the cobwebs from the post-dinner snooze, the conversation unraveled slowly. Words and thoughts were hard for her to grasp, and yet, I didn’t want to fill in her sentences because I didn’t always know what she meant and if I guessed wrong, she had to start the thought process over. It’s a lot for a 98 years and 11 month old lady.

These conversations are supposed to be comforting, not taxing.

“Things happen we didn’t anticipate” and “It will be a special time to celebrate” and “Hope for the best” and “It’ll work out fine and good” and “You’ll be comfortable.”

She kept uttering generic phrases to whatever I was (or was not) talking about. I think she’d start off by listening to me, but then the TV would catch her attention and she’d end the sentence differently than she started it.

A bit of a travelogue if you will.

“I remember when we started talking on the telephone.”

I perked up. “Yeah?”

“All those years ago.”

Generic and yet accurate. It was the most I’d be able to get out of her brain tonight, so I chalked that one up as a win.

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