My sister was telling me, when I was out in California last week, that someone she knows once said that at night, from the hilltop, all the twinkling lights in the valley look like stars on the ground. I kind of really like that thought. It's comforting to know that behind many of the lights that shine are people, and families, and whole universes of experience beyond my own. So many brightly shining lives out there.
I had a rough re-entry into day to day life last week, not ready to say good-bye to the beautiful universe that is my brother's family, my sister, my father and his wife and all that comes with spending time with them. When I am home all the way across the country sometimes they feel like distant stars, though there is so much that tethers us together that feeling never lasts. I know we are not really so very much apart.
Maybe the difficulty rested in the fact that my visit occurred during the anniversary of my mother's passing. I marvel at how much has happened in four years, too much to even list. For the first time this loss feels permanent, she's not coming back. She has missed so much, and the list will only get longer. An entire universe will unfold without her even knowing about it. I remember everything about the moment she told me that she wasn't sorry to leave, she was sorry she'd miss so much.
There's no getting around the difficulty of that thought, I've realized. I've learned so many things because of her passing. Deeply etched upon my heart is the reminder to soak up every last bright moment while I can. It's hard to fly away from those moments. But I try to remind myself that too much time thinking about what I am missing causes me to miss all of the stars that lay before me. And today that star is a sunny day, kisses, and hanging book pages on a wall.