But something happened recently that improved my relationship with my grandma more than I ever expected. “Ma,” as I’ve called her since I first learned to speak, learned to text. And not just the occasional, one-word typical grandma-text, either, but full-blown back-and-forth conversations — with lots of heart emoji. (She doesn’t use Bitmoji yet, but that seems inevitable.)

What’s particularly great about Ma’s newfound texting habit is that it’s created a conversation that never truly ends, and that each of us can pick up on when we have time, even if those moments don’t overlap like they must in a phone call. I can shoot her a message when I’m on the bus to work, and she can get back to me when she’s up and about. This has always been the best part of text messages, of course — but getting the random grandma “I love you” text from Ma is an unbeatable instant mood-booster.