I answer my cell charging beside the bed because I recognize the area code.
“Hello, do you know who this is?” A female’s voice queries.
“Give me a second. Say something more.” I must be off because I was laying down for a nap. Come on brain…
“Do you recognize my voice??” she warbles a little like Edith Bunker from All in the Family.
“Of course I do! Yes. Hello, Mrs. Palmer,” I say respectfully even though she insisted I start calling her Carmen in 1990.
Mrs. Palmer (Carmen), as it turns out, is sorting through some of her memory boxes after her first cousin passed away a few days ago. Mrs. Palmer is in her late husband’s study surrounded by plastic tubs full of things she’s labeled for her kids to have after she dies.
“Do you remember writing Next Door to a Preacher Man? I just came across it and save things like that. I’m thinking of making copies for my kids, even though I think I read it to them after Dick died. Do you still write?”
“I do. I write short things and poems,” I say apologetically.
“You should send me some of your poems.”
She asks how my parents are, how my mom’s recovery is going, and we agree the weather both in Kansas and California is most agreeable. At 78-years-old she chides that she doesn’t use a computer because she’s not smart enough. I say she’s smart for avoiding today’s social media because it lacks any real connection.
“It’s good to hear your voice,” she says.
“I’m glad you called,” I say, but I meant, “I love you, Carmen Palmer.” I wonder if I’ll ever hear her voice again, so I keep her on the line a few minutes more.