I talk to my Papa Sam every Friday night. We've been doing this since August 2000. It was right after my Grandma Ann passed away. I was worried that he'd have no one to light the Sabbath candles with and say the Sabbath prayer.
In the beginning I would actually light the candles at home while he did. This lasted for a couple of years, but then I met Robert D, and staying home several hours waiting for the candles to burn down was, for lack of better terms, a buzz kill on going out on Friday nights. I wrestled with this at first, but reminded myself that as long as I still talked with Papa, he still wasn't alone. I'm not a religious person AT ALL. I am Jewish. I had my Bat Mitzvah, but I just never connected with the religion. I'm more "culturally Jewish"...aka Non-practicing. We continued our Friday night calls, and I can honestly say that I don't think we've missed more than 10 Friday nights in the past 10+ years. I'm his Friday Night Boof Girl.
Boof is another name for kiss. When I was a toddler, apparently when I'd lean in for a kiss from Papa, I'd say "mmbooooof!" It was shortened to Boof...and for years my cards and letters all had XXX Boof Boof Boof instead of the O's. It's the special thing we share.
When I have Peanut on Fridays, we always call Papa Sam, I say the prayer with him and then put him on speaker phone so Peanut can sing him a song. We end it with "I love you's" and "Boof, Boof, Boof". Always three in a row.
The conversation almost always starts this way:
"Good Shabbos, My Sweet. And how are you?"
Sometimes the call lasts 2 minutes, sometimes longer. His hearing is not as good...so it really depends on how well his hearing aid is working. Most of the time now he also mistakenly skips part of the prayer. Always asking, "Are you ready for the candles?"...even if he knows I'm not home...and I say, "Ready".
I love that we have this. I love that he's almost 96 years old and calls me from his cell phone. I love that I'm his "Boof Girl", I love that Peanut will always remember this.
It's Wednesday, what do you love?