A Voicemail

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“I need to call my son,” Mara said. “I want to make sure he knows I’m here,” she explained.

I looked to our activity director. “Is it possible for me to reach her son?” I whispered.

“No,” she said, sadly. “He died a couple of years ago.”

I sighed and thought a moment, turning to look at Mara. Her eyes were big and full of anxiety. She looked at me with a sense of hope.

“Can I call him, please?” she asked again.

“Sure, come to my office,” I said, motioning to the door.

I checked to make sure that my cell phone was on silent and dialed my own number from the desk phone. I listened to my own recorded voice message. “Hi, you’ve reached Rachael…” my voice said.

After it finished, I handed Mara the phone. 

“Sounds like it went to voicemail,” I nodded. “Why don’t you leave him a message so he can call us back?”

Mara took the phone from me. “Hi Rick…can you come pick me up?” she asked. “I’m here and I’m really anxious. I can’t wait to see you,” Mara finished.

Mara’s son was no longer alive, but she was able to leave him a message.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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