“How are you?” I asked.

“I’m still here,” Maga said.


“Waiting for the good lord to come and find me.”

“Oh, Maga.”

“That’s sort of a silly thing to say, isn’t it?”

“Yes!” I scrambled for a quick change of topic. “Did you know my mom is on her way to see you?”

“Where is she coming from?”


“Where am I?”


“Where are you, dear?”


As she crunched on potato chips, I couldn’t help but think our conversation was mirroring what’s on nearly every channel. The lists of states (and their tallies of votes for the next president of the United States).

“What’s for dinner, Maga?”

“A sandwich (meat and cheese), potato chips, a pickle.”

“And dessert?”

“I don’t see any here.”

“WHAT?” I cried, knowing it’s her favorite part of any meal and knowing I come by my sweet tooth genetically.

“[Caregiver M] just left. We did elbows. You know about that?”

I could figure it out, but wanted to hear her explanation. “No, tell me more.”

“You bend your arm. Eat the sandwich.”


“It’s chicken and cheese, and potato chips, and a roll, and a pickle.”

“What does your dinner have to do with elbows?” (She did not understand this sentence or any variation I could think of to tone down my voice so she could hear the words.)

“Maga, you were explaining why you ‘did elbows’ with [Caregiver M]. Was it instead of a hug?”

“Yes. Because I’m eating dinner and it’s easier, umm, harder to hug while I’m eating.”

And here I thought it was because of covid germs…

She launched into some stats from the states’ tallies.

“Did you vote, Maga?”


“Who did you vote for?”

*crunch crunch crunch* “Biden.”

“Yes! Good choice!”

“It looks like Biden is doing better than Tr*mp. They’re drawing all over that map.”

“It’s too early to tell, but I suspect they’ll be drawing all over that map all night.”

“Do you see it too?”

“Well, no. They’re showing TX on my screen.”

“They’re showing VA on mine!” Maga said happily.

We both paused to chuckle. (Reader: Virginia is her name.)

She continued to chew and crunch her way through her dinner. It was honestly not annoying because it meant her appetite was back, and, as my mom always says, no one should eat a meal alone, so even though I was done mine hours ago, I was happy to keep her company as she ate hers.

“Let’s talk next week when all this is settled,” she said. “And I’m done this dinner.”

“Okay, that sounds good. In the meantime, enjoy your dinner and enjoy your visitors.”

“Yes, I’m pleased to think I’ll have visitors.”

Even though we’d hung up, her daydreams and pleasant thoughts were still floating merrily around.

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