Maria Andrade and Jose Andrade-Garcia

The saddest Zoom call there ever was

Updated 11:28 AM ET, Wed June 10, 2020

In a series of essays called The Distance, Thomas Lake is telling the stories of Americans living through the pandemic. This essay is based on extensive phone interviews with Maria Andrade.
Email thomas.lake@cnn.com if you have a story idea.

(CNN)We live in a time of ruined plans, a year of final reckoning. It has forced millions of us to look back and ask ourselves what we did right or wrong, what we left unsaid or undone, in the fleeting moments with someone we loved and lost. When Maria Andrade thinks of her father, she keeps coming back to the same two regrets.

"Hey, daughter," he would say on the phone, any old weekday after work, probably on the couch with a cold beer. And he would ask her to come over, just because.
Sometimes she came over. But sometimes she said, "No, I'm kind of busy," and now she wishes she had always said yes.
Thomas Lake