“How are you,” I asked.

“I don’t know. It’s a funny day today,” Maga said.

“How so?”

“With all the snow and slow goings on.”

“Oh, yes, that actually makes sense,” I said thinking of my own goings on and the pace of quarantine life.

“Are you in a position to see the moon?”

“No, not at the moment, why?”

“It’s a great, big, round moon tonight.”

“Can you see it now?” I asked.

“Yes. I’m sitting at my desk eating dinner and I can see it in the window.”

“I think it’s supposed to be a full moon on Saturday.”

“What’s that?”

And so began a back and forth where I stuck to the same topic as her, but she couldn’t understand me as she munched through her dinner of “some sort of chicken sandwich” and “not very good vegetables” and then she’d talk about the moon again as it was apparently very bright through her window.

(Reader: eventually, I got up and looked through all of my windows, but the clouds were too thick, so all I had to go on was any one of her 10 descriptions of the “big, round, yellow moon.”)

“Oh, Abby, dear….” Maga began, and well, actually, it feels unfair to transcribe her bursts of sadness, but they were there, as big and round as the moon. I tried to let her feel and I tried to empathize and I tried to distract, but nothing was working.

“I just need to find my phone,” Maga said.

“Maga, you’re holding it.”

“I am?”

“Yes, you’re talking to me on it.”

“Oh, so I am.”

“What do you need it for?”

“I need to talk to J or C. Listen, could you do me a favor?”

“Sure thing.”

“Could you call them and have them call me? I think they have my number. Do you?”

“Yes, I do. In fact, I called you on it.”

“Oh, yes, that’s right. Could you have one of them contact me?”

“Of course. I’ll contact them both.”

“What? Who? Which one?”

“Both. I’ll contact both and have them call you.”

“Oh. Maybe you should just call one.”

“Okay, then. I’ll call my mom and have her call you right now.”

“Thank you. Goodbye.”

I’m not sure if it was the moon or mercury being in retrograde or sundowner syndrome, but whatever it was, her “blue” feeling was too much for a granddaughter to soothe, so I tagged in a better option. My mom. Though from the sounds of it, she thought she might have to tag in the ultimate option, her sister [Aunt J]. Maybe between the three of us, we can invoke a sense of calm?

Then again, emotions are as varied as moonbeams, but how do you explain that to a 99yo?

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