the moon and the twinkling stars

In bed alone last night I hugged my knees to my chest in an effort to keep warm. I gazed sideways out the western window at a web of black branches and a scant mist suspending the moon, which appeared as a stemless goblet half full of shining silver. I thought about the twenty Newtown, Connecticut first-graders and it occurred to me that the moon might be holding all of their brightness for the rest of us to see.

I’m having a hard time not thinking about those children, but perhaps I shouldn’t be trying to avert my thoughts, shouldn’t attempt to move on so quickly, or forget. As I sat in the doctor’s office eyeing glossy magazines with names like, Parenting, Family and People, I thought of them again. I picked one up and thumbed through its pages, which were plastered with images of happy families, proud parents with their beautiful kids reading, snuggling, smiling. I usually avoid looking at these kinds of periodicals since they underscore so many things I am already painfully aware that I am missing out on, being the mother of a severely disabled child. I wonder how the Newtown parents might react when they see this kind of stuff or watch television with its stacked nanoseconds of happy, healthy, glowing, well adjusted, perfectly complexioned children saturating the airwaves. It must burn, stab, strangle, eviscerate—perhaps even kill.

Their days must be long, if that word can even come close to describing the protracted misery of a minute’s passing in the absence of one so innocent and adored. My own days drag on caring for a child who we feed, bathe, hug, kiss, keep warm and dry and safe, though little more. It’s monotony at times, and yet completely incomparable to the plodding torment of these parents and families who’ve been robbed blind of their most prized possession.

But then my mind wanders back to the moon, that brilliant cup reflecting the suns rays so brightly that, even half full, it illuminates all that would be black in its absence. I think of those children who are gone from this world but not from this universe, and I see them too as tiny points of light, a twinkling star in the sky reserved for each one of them, and for us to delight in, rely on and wish.


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