Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Phone calls from Mrs. Rothstein

Mrs Rothstein is an old lady in a nursing home somewhere in Louisville. I don't know where.

Our home phone number is close to her husband's so she calls us once or twice a week.

It's just hang-ups most of the time. I only know it's her from the caller ID. But sometimes she leaves messages, usually just saying her husband's name.

She called twice this morning when it started to snow and left this message.

It's snowing hard!

It's pretty Gordy.

I didn't think we'd have more snow like this. But we are.

I'm sorry.

She doesn't answer her phone much but I've managed to talk to her a handful of times. She's in the late stages of dementia so she never remembers that we've talked before. I don't know much about her. She has a personal cell phone that she uses to make calls. She shares her room with another woman. She doesn't like the other woman because she's too loud.

I was afraid, for a long time, that her husband was dead. On one phone call, I convinced her to give the phone to a nurse. She wouldn't tell me the name of the facility but she did tell me that her husband is alive and visits her almost every day.