I sit here tonight and watch the star that I have "found" in the heavens. Memories collide and I am reminded of a sweaty little palm that held tightly onto my hand, a palm that, too quickly, slipped from my grasp.
That star probably isn’t new, but I am sure that I have never seen it before. It shines bright and steady, just to the left of the crescent moon. It shines as if it had a message for me. “Don’t worry,” it says, “No more stops, Mom. I’m home.”
Reason tells me that the words are only memory, but my heart is sure that it recognizes the star. I have been talking to that star for a long time, since the first time I felt it flutter in my swelling belly. “Okay, little one, just one more stop and we’ll go home and rest,” I said as I walked through the doorway to Sears.
Behind me, another customer couldn’t help but chuckle as he inquired, “Do you think he really hears you?”
I laughed, too and replied, “I don’t know if he does or not, but right now, it’s the only way I have to tell him I love him.”
I have loved him for a long time, since the first tiny flutter that told me he was truly there and alive. I think it was only then that I believed he would eventually come into existence. I picked up my order that day, went home and set-up the new bassinet. While I worked, I talked to my baby boy. I talked to him all that summer as his small body grew and moved inside mine. On September 5, 1975, I was speechless when I held this miracle of life in my arms for the first time. But I soon found my tongue and continued talking to Lance Quincy Paquette. I talked to him for the next 21 years.
The last time was on March 30, 1997. He called home from Fort Polk, Louisiana that Sunday to ask me how to keep score at Gin Rummy. I treasure that call, knowing that it was just a way for him to reach out and hear, “I love you, Son,” and reply, “I love you, too, Mom.”
Two days later, on April 1, I learned that I would talk with him no more. I learned that day about death. The miracle of my son is gone. I see him in one bright star that flutters momentarily in the night just as the spark of his new life fluttered inside me so many years ago. I talk to the star.