When I reflect on 2012, I want to remember peering through the lens of a camera and falling in love with Ireland; holding hands with Rubin in the cockpit of our sailboat, listening to the calls of loons echoing across the Canadian waters of the North Channel; successfully launching a new website, blog, and pen name, Mary McKSchmidt. I want to recall the many months of quality alone time with Mother; Rubin’s Dad squeezing my hand as Rubin and I sit with him before he dies; my dad’s trembling jaw as he whispers his final words on this earth . . . “I love you, Mary.”
I want to erase memories darkened by the cruelty of dementia and Parkinson’s, the brokenness of our fathers’ frequent falls, the lines of stress and exhaustion on our mothers’ faces, and the quiet emptiness of death.
Staring at an Arizona sky in mid-December an hour before the gray of dawn, Rubin joins me as I silently watch the stars twinkling mischievously overhead. Suddenly the stars begin plummeting to the earth, so many points of light falling so quickly I cannot whisper my wishes fast enough. It is as if the stars are reminding me I am not alone and that an infinite number of angels are waiting for me to ask for help, waiting to shower me with unlimited love and support.
It is my choice how I frame my sixtieth year. I choose to remember the treasures of the night and look to the skies for assistance.
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