At the Helm of a Shooting Star

Annah ElizabethUncategorized3 Comments

My oldest son turned twenty yesterday.

My, oh, my; that doesn’t seem possible. Twenty years ago we experienced his joyous birth; twenty years since the painful separation brought about in his death.

Twenty years…

And now I celebrate his life once again.

We went to the cemetery on Mother’s Day, dug out the few weeds that had surfaced since Easter, removed the Easter decorations, and placed more pine needle mulch around his stone. In keeping with tradition, we held hands as we circled his small gravestone, and celebrated him. “Twenty years on Tuesday, Gavin. Enjoy your day!”

One of my other children offered up a message to him, which made me ask, “The last time we were here, one of you said he’d graduated from driving clouds. What is it you said he’s driving now?”

My daughter said she’d indicated he was no longer driving clouds, and my youngest replied, “I said he’s probably driving stars now, shooting stars.”

I spent yesterday working and volunteering at my children’s high school, signing students up for Project Graduation (a safe, fun, drug and alcohol-free) graduation event. I then attended my daughter’s track meet.

Tuesday was so cold here in the Northeast, about forty-five degrees and raining. At one point it began sleeting. I hung out on the icy bleachers, sitting beneath an umbrella, catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in many, many months.

And now, as I reflect on yesterday’s weather, I see a mirror image of the climate on that fateful day, twenty years ago.

Figuratively and literally.

Literally in that the air around us was wet and cold and dreary. Figuratively because of the excitement and anticipation and wonder that existed.

Next time I will have to tell you about my epiphany as we neared Gavin’s sixteenth birthday. But for now, I’ll end with this: Gavin is twenty years old. And he is probably driving a shooting star.

If he’s not, I’ve no doubt he’s dreaming about how glorious it would be to be at the helm of something fabulous, fast, and, oh, so fun.

Have a great day, friends!

p.s. My oldest living son told us last night he has decided he’s not going to pursue the 1984 Corvette. Amen.

3 Comments on “At the Helm of a Shooting Star”

  1. I think your children are lucky to have a mother who takes them to the cemetery to visit their lost brother. Our society denies death so much, instead of accepting it as a part of life. I can’t imagine losing a son but he’s still a part of your life.

  2. Thanks, Woolie. We should celebrate what we have… That said, however, it does often take us mortals FOREVER to recognize the fortunes in our lives. And for those stubborn like me, it takes even more time to unearth the wealth! ;->

  3. I love the ritual you do at Gavin’s grave, that is really special for all of you and a way to keep him truly connected with your your other children. I love the thought of him driving on a shooting star, a wonderful image, fun and free, as he watches over you all. Beautiful.

    I am also happy your older son decided against the 1984 corvette. Thank God for the small miracles we are granted.

    On Mother’s Day we went to Christie’s mother’s grave (my sister). She likes us to go out first and we hold hand, talk to her, both silently and out loud and then we let Christie go alone. She wants her alone time, and we give her as much time as she needs. It is very important to her, and I honor this wish, as often as she requests to go. I see it as very healthy. She communicates with her mother all the time, she sees signs, hears her at night, she comes to her in dreams, but at the grave, it seems Christie has the most to say. I thing it is a good thing. What she doesn’t know is how often I go there myself, alone. So good for me as well.
    Take Care.

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