“Hi, Maga! It’s Abby.”

“Hello. How are you?”

“I’m doing well and yourself?”

“Not too bad. What’d you do today?”

I launched into my daily activities, “I went for two walks and then I cooked a little and then I wrapped some Christmas presents, which got me in the Christmas mood.”


“Do you have any Christmas decorations up?”

“I have a little tree by my TV.”

“Is it real or fake?”


Caregiver M texted me a photo of the gold, tinsel branches and red and silver ornaments.

“Oh, Maga! It’s so festive. It’s great!”

“Thank you. I have another one too.”

“Two trees??”

Caregiver M called out that she’d send over a picture shortly, so in the meantime, I thought about the best way to explain to Maga about the little tree I have in my apartment. “It’s a little fake tree and the branches are fiber optic, so they light up in these pretty colors. You know those things they sell to kids at the circus or hockey games?”

“Yes, I do.”

The certainty in her tone made a believer out of me, but then Caregiver M’s text chimed through and wouldn’t you know it? Maga’s second tree is a fiber optic one too! Hers has white lights where mine has colors, but our Christmas decorations are more similar than not. It was an unexpected connection.

“Please tell [Caregiver M] thank you for all these photos. They’re so wonderful! Especially the one she sent my mom of you in your Christmas sweater yesterday.”

“She didn’t show it to me.”

“Maga! You were in it! You know what you were wearing.”

“I wonder who took the photo?”

“[Caregiver M] did,” I said as the same time Caregiver M called out, “I did.”

“Oh, here I am. Red and green and all that. Oh dear.”

“Why’d you say ‘oh dear’?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I just felt like oh dear. What time is it there?”

“6:30 here, so it’s 4:30 your time.”

“Nearly dinner time.”

“Indeed it is.”

“I don’t have much of an appetite,” Maga said.

“Well then, you know what that means?”


“You’ll have to eat dessert first. That way you’ll fill up on the good stuff.”

“I guess so,” Maga chuckled.

A few more “oh dears” crept into the conversation before she decided it was time to lie back down, so we bid each other adieu.

“I’ll be talking to you again pretty soon,” Maga said.

“Of course!”

“Thank you for calling. I appreciate hearing your voice.”

“I’m glad we were able to chat. I miss you! Love you, Maga.”

“I love you too, dear.”

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