Posts Tagged ‘tuesdays with maga’


March 19, 2019

“Are you going on a trip soon?” Maga asked.

“Yes! To visit YOU, Maga!”

“Well, no. Not that.”

I deflated a bit. “It’s a big trip, Maga! I thought you’d be excited about it?!”

“Well, I am,” she said. But clearly she wasn’t.

Oof. Some of her turns of phrase… they cut.

We talked further and she clarified she was excited about my coming to visit her; it’s just that she wasn’t excited about her lack of memory of who had a big trip coming up.

She kept up the questions. I kept not having answers. “Maga. People tell you more things than they do me.”


“Yes, truly. You’re the gossip queen.”

“I am?”

“Yes. For real. No one tells me anything. I’m the last to know always.”



“You mean people tell me more things?”


With that settled, she veered back to the course of the prior conversation. Having had some space, I quickly realized she meant Sister E and her upcoming trip, which I was happy to gush about.

“Do people in far off countries know how to use computers?” Maga asked, each word dripped with incredulity.

“In fact, they do.”

“Well, thank goodness for Thomas Edison who invented the telephone so we can keep in touch.”

I didn’t have the heart to correct her because nearly every word was punctuated by a cough. “Are you feeling okay, Maga?” I asked. “That cough sounds different than usual.”

“Yes, I know. This has gotten ahold of me or I’ve gotten ahold of it.”

Some of her turns of phrase…man, they get me. It’s like she’s got an accent or something because nearly everything she says sounds more interesting, not to mention, I didn’t know germs could sound so charming!



March 12, 2019

“Did you try to call me just now?” Maga said.

“I did. But the phone was weird. Your answering machine didn’t pick up.”

“I was on the other line.”

“Talking to anyone I know?”

“An old neighbor friend.”

“Oh, that’s so nice! How is she?”

“Well, she’s having trouble with one of her doctors and wanted to tell somebody about it.”

“Oh, umm, that’s not so nice.”

“Hold on, Abby dear. It’s the changing of the guard.” I then spent the better part of 10 minutes “on hold” while Maga said goodbye to one caregiver and hello to the next one. And by “on hold” I mean she put the phone in her lap and I eavesdropped on the entire conversation. It’s probably best I did because the night caregiver arrived slightly late, which always sets Maga in a tizzy, so I was able to get the lay of the land and turned up the sunshine in my voice a few extra notches.

“Hello? Abby?”

“Yes, I’m still here. Hi, Maga.”

“Are you there?”


“I don’t know this new lady.” Her voice was frazzled, though her words were confident.

“She’s been there before on multiple Saturdays. You’re in good hands.”

“I don’t remember her.”

“Well, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been there. It just means you’re almost 98…”

That got the chuckle I was hoping for.

“What have you been up to lately?”

“I was down in NC visiting my Aunt A.”

“Oh, yes! I liked her very much when we knew each other. It was awhile ago. I’d love to see her again.”

I thought about how they probably hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in decades, but how Maga still wanted her to visit. Or how she was willing to quiet her own complaining to listen to the gripes of her elderly neighbor. My heart ached with the loneliness she must be feeling. I turned the sunshine in my voice up a few more notches, as I detailed my father’s family tree for her.

“Is work going well?” Maga asked.

“Sure.” (I said desperately clinging onto the sunshine…)

“That’s sort of yes.”

“Uh huh.”

“Well, that’s how we’ll put it for now.”

And with that new definition, I felt better. The sunshine in my voice wasn’t forced for the remainder of our time together.


March 5, 2019

“How are YOU?” I asked.

“Coming up on 100,” Maga said.

Her downtrodden tone led me to, perhaps overbrightly say, “But that’s super exciting!”

“It is big,” she agreed hesitantly. “But I try not to get too undone about it.”

“I think you’re allowed.”

“Have you done anything interesting in a playful way?” She abruptly changed the subject. I guess closing in on 100 has left her subtleties by the wayside.

“Nope. Not so much.” I, also not so subtly, gave her no leeway. But also, I haven’t done anything interesting lately…well, scratch that. Anything interesting that she’d understand. I DID happen to take 3rd place in Beer Olympics this past weekend, but considering I had to repeat myself ad nauseum up to this point, I didn’t feel up to the taste of explaining drinking games to her or the fact I’m 38, unmarried, and sans children. (Not unhappily BTW but that’s another explanation I wasn’t up to either.)

“How long have you been at your job?” Maga tried again to engage me.

“12 years.”


“Why’s that?”

“That’s an awfully long time.”

“I’m a stable girl.”

I wanted to point her in the direction of the previous comment where I’d done nothing “of interest in a playful way” lately…stability = boring = not much to discuss on a Tuesday night. When you’ve lived close to 100 years, I guess you’re entitled to expect everyone else provide entertainment, but when you’re only close to 40, you have to provide your own entertainment, and since I haven’t been doing that in a manner appropriate for a 98yo to hear about, it left us in a rather boring loop. One I could only get out of by promising her I’d see her in less than a month for her 98th birthday. Hopefully that weekend we’ll both live life to the fullest so we can regal each other with (the same) tales.


February 25, 2019

“How are you?”

“I just finished dinner, so I’m still digesting,” Maga said.

“Ooh, okay.”

“How about you? Have you had dinner yet?”

“I finished just a little bit ago.”

“Are you a good cook?”

My response was to laugh out loud. “No.”

“What’d you have for dinner?”

“A baked potato.”

“That’s it?!”


“Oh, well, I guess that’s nutritious enough.”

“It’s the ‘I-just-bought-a-furnace’ diet.”

“What’s that got to do with a baked potato?”

“A furnace is a lot of money. My savings took a hit. Potatoes are only 79 cents per item.”

Maga’s response was to ask about the weather. I clued her in about the brief snow squall this morning and the crazy winds that blustered about all day.

“We got snow yesterday,” Maga said.

“How much?”

Maga’s caregiver confirmed the amount. “8.5 inches,” Maga repeated.

“Did you go sledding?”

Maga’s response was to laugh out loud. “My sledding days are long since over, plus there aren’t too many hills around here.”

My response was to let my imagination run wild with Maga and a sled, or as she referred to it, a toboggan. I guess my mind really ran amok and the silence accidentally piled up. Maga, with her non-sequiturs, took charge.

“Your mom was my firstborn.”

I shook off the lingering imagery in my head and addressed the practicality in front of me. “Yes, she was.”

“I’m impressed with the progress she’s made. She’s done well with whatever she undertakes.”

My response was not to argue. Everything she said was accurate (which is why I took notes on how exactly she phrased it).

Our conversation may have been a night early and it may have not followed a logical path, but it was full of laughter along the way.


February 19, 2019

“I’m sitting here writing some birthday cards,” said Maga. “And it’s snowing and horrible outside.”

“Good thing you’re inside and warm!”

“Yes, I guess so. How’s your weather lately?”

“It was very cold today. Snowed yesterday.”

“Have you gotten any snow lately?”


“I do not like the snow. Maybe it’s my age.”

“We’ve been lucky so far this year. Just a few little storms here and there.”

“Us too. It’s been enough, though not the great big heavy drifts and such. I do not like that. Oh, hey. Do you still do your Tuesday night thing with that crew?”

“No, unfortunately not.”

“Why not?”

I went into the finer, sadder details of why not, which I’ll refrain from repeating online since it’s not my news. Maga ingested the news, then asked if my boss had any kids, which had nothing to do with anything we were talking about…

“Nope, no children. Just dogs.”

“Some people would rather have a good pet, I guess.”

Not me, but I’ll refrain from repeating those details online as well.

Maga pushed me for more stories, more details, more excitement.

“I’m afraid I’m not very exciting right now. I’m living the just-bought-myself-a-new-furnace-financial-diet which is a lot of me sitting at home spinning the two pennies I have left.”

“Sometimes life is good. Sometimes life is boring.”

“I’m definitely in a boring slump right night. Maybe next week I’ll have something more interesting to say.”

“And maybe I will too,” Maga said.

An unofficial pact to live our lives here and now so that we’ll have oodles of tales for our Tuesday night phone calls.