January 16, 2018

“More snow?” Maga said. “Oh, horrors.”

“I couldn’t agree more. Tell me you haven’t had to deal with much snow…”

“We haven’t. But the mountains haven’t either. The ski resorts are crying.”

“I suppose that’s a valid reaction for Colorado, but I’m glad you haven’t had to deal with it much.”

We covered other topics, but since she was feeling foozledee, we circled back around to the weather.

“I’ll be thinking of you,” Maga said. “And I’ll look for the weather report in tomorrow’s paper.”

“I hope there won’t be anything to report!”

“Well, at least, I hope it’s not like last week. That was kind of a heavy one.”

It was, and not just because of the snow. Here’s to a week of lighter, fluffier health snow.



January 9, 2018

I called twice. No answer either time.

Maga called back twice. Left a voicemail each time.

As they say, fifth time’s the charm, and she answered with a, “Hello, Abby, dear.”

It was a short conversation given the late hour and my scratchy throat, but it was still our usual on a Tuesday night. A simple and sweet way to close down the night which had involved my trivia team’s rowdy return to the playing field (we took third after inducing a tiebreaker) and a surprise rendition of “happy birthday” sung by an entire restaurant.

I happily accepted her wishes of sweet dreams and warmer weather while wishing her exactly the same.


January 2, 2018

“Your birthday is on Monday?” Maga said.

“It is,” I said.

“You’ll be 35? 36?”


“You’re getting up there.”

“Ha. I suppose I am.”

“It’s on Monday? A week from yesterday?”

“Yes. It’s the day before your and Jobo’s anniversary. And Sister J’s is the day after.”

“Really?” Maga trailed off. “I guess I forgot that.”

“You knew it. You just don’t remember at the moment.”

“Let me get my calendar. Any other celebrations this month?”

“Indeed. Brother G and Sister E.”

“Your mother had four children in January?!?” The incredulity in her voice was hilarious and heartbreaking. “My gosh. I didn’t realize that. Or didn’t remember that. That is remarkable.”

“She’s quite formidable.”

“She spent a lot of time pregnant during the holidays.”

“It must have been difficult. Well, except for me. She wasn’t that far along with me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was due in April.”

“You were a preemie?”

“Yup. I was the teeny one. Still am, actually.”

“You’re a good size. A little bit of alright.”

After a morning that involved way more adult-ing than I ever anticipated, I cradled this night time praise close.


December 26, 2017

“How are things at the house?” Maga asked.

“Very busy, but in a good way.”

“What are the ages of [Sister J’s] kids again?”

“7.5, 5.5, and 2.5.”

“Oh my. That is busy indeed. My kids were a bit more spaced out.”

“What are the age ranges?”

“C and J are 3 years apart. J and D are 3.5 years apart. And D and T are 4.5 years apart, so it wasn’t too crowded all at once.”

“Both sets have their advantages. And how was your Christmas?”

“It was okay. J and P came by for lunch. The food wasn’t anything special. And the day before S and F took me out to dinner.”

“S is Aunt J’s friend, right?”

“Yes. They are one day apart.”


“Yes. Fairly early on, I saw S’s mother and I said to her, ‘You look like I feel’ and she admitted she was pregnant.”

As I pondered the ways women shared pregnancy news sans social media, Maga continued her story. “She went into the hospital and when I went the next day, I ran into her room and said, “I’m here. Let’s see what happens.”

What happened was a lifetime of friendship between mothers and daughters. So much so that they are still spending holidays together. It’s a lovely blurry line between family and friends.


December 18, 2017

“But it’s Monday,” Maga said in lieu of a hello.

“I know, but I have a guest coming over tomorrow and I didn’t want to miss out on talking with you.”

“How do you know this friend? College?”

“She went to college with my high school friend and then we were roommates my first year up here.”

“Did she work at the same job as you?”

“Nope. We have a mutual friend and the three of us were roommates my first year in Boston.”


“How has your week been going?” I asked.

“I’m lonely. My family lives so far away.”

“I understand that! My family is too far, too.”

“I have [Aunt J] and I see her every other day. Maybe every day, but everyone else is too far. My boys live in TX and CA, you know.”

“I know. But they could travel more to see you. Like how my mom does.”

“Oh, yes, your mom is so good at that. We had such a lovely visit when she was here. She and your dad took me for a drive to check out all the Christmas lights.”

“I love Christmas lights! That must have been so beautiful.”

“It was.”

“What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?”

“The Christmas hymns, songs. When I had access to a piano, I played them.”

The piano in her house was a focal point because (a) it was beside a floor to ceiling window and (b) had a family photo from 1983 that has NOT weathered well. Too much sunlight has left us all with yellow rings around our eyes. We affectionately refer to it as the zombie family portrait. My uncles would often pound out a song or two, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Maga play. The image of her seated there playing my favorite music (yes, I’m a Christmas carol lover) (hi) caught my breath.

“Are you still there?” Maga asked.


“I wasn’t sure with the silence.”

“I’m here. I’m here.”

“When do you think you’ll be here next.”

(Sly devil, Maga.) “For your birthday, definitely.”

“You will?! How wonderful.”

“I know. I’m excited. It’s so lovely there in March.”

“Who else will be coming?”

“I imagine my mom will. It’ll be a mother mother daughter daughter trip.”

I hope Maga’s soft chuckle blew away some of the loneliness surrounding her tonight.