Not the Stars, but the Moon

It’s December. Three days past my birthday. Three days past you.

My mother is behind the wheel, eyes trained on the long road ahead. In the distance is a hill dotted with a train of lights, guiding the way home for us. A Christmas song plays softly on the radio. Outside the window, dark shadows of trees fly past in a blur.

I lean my head back and press my cheek against the cool glass. I look up to admire the galaxy above. The absence of streetlights made the stars easy to decipher in the cloudless sky.

Life moves too quickly, just as fast as the car rolling down the road. Three nights ago the sky was sullen. Tonight, it is bright.

It’s been three days. You departed not an hour ago.

I think of you as I blink at the night sky. I wonder how many lights are winking back at me. I wonder if you got there safely. If you were among the stars.

Then, I notice the moon, peeking out from behind the branches as the car hurries by. Somehow, it was aqua. No longer was the moon a pearl in the sky. Instead, it was the color of you. You had reached the place where you were destined to go.

I smile softly at the universe and its phenomenon. Only you could do something so miraculous.

Three days, I mourned alongside the millions who loved you. At last, we begin to heal, knowing you found your place not within the stars, but in the moon.

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