For Whom the Stars Shine*


Many years ago – 15? 18? – right before the long drive back to Tallahassee, I snuck into my parents’ room and stuck a constellation of glow in the dark stars above their bed to ease our bittersweet parting.

Mom called that night – or was it the next? – giggling. She’d loved the stars because they reminded her of when I was 4 and reached up and grabbed a star for her  in a moment of unleashed gushing mother worshipping love.

My Mom then snuck some glow in dark stars onto the ceiling of Abuela’s room.

Don't ask me for a more specific story than this, because I’m not sure how it went over way back then. Really. I had a dissertation to write, I was busy being in my 20s and and also that was the “old days” when communication was clunkier.

I bet that at first pobre Abuelita must have thought her eyesight was going wild, or that she was becoming like Cuca who went blind and then would see and talk to a handsome man who was invisible to us all but drove her absolutely wild.   


 I got the impression he courted Cuca and loved  Cuca, and entertained her endlessly. As far as I could tell, she was the happiest vieja in the “home” and if I go even a little bit crazy please oh please let me go like Cuca went! Anyway.....

Whether Abuela loved those crazy stars or not, they stayed on her ceiling shining over her for the years she suffered a little, then a little more, then so much she jumped past the stars and left us all here. 

Last week in the silence of a hot summer night, those stars I had forgotten all about shined down on me for awhile, and I laughed (again) (alone) with my Abuela, and in my heart I told them goodbye and let them be free*

Abuela, 4 Years Later

Dear Abuelita,


I called Abuelo last night. He asked me what you think of him, and how he's doing and I told him the truth, that you are laughing that you are free and you're everywhere now*