Today is All Saints Day, the holiday on the Christian calendar where we remember everyone we’ve lost in the past year. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than in the cemetery where my mother is buried, bringing her decorations and eating sugar skulls. I probably would have brought gaudy Dia de los Muertos knick-knacks knowing my mother’s propensity for her house to look like every holiday threw up. I also would have bought everything at Dollar Tree, her personal favorite…. provided they had the things that just screamed “MOM HAS TO HAVE THESE!”
Alas, I am not in Houston, and realistically, neither is she.
But she does belong to the night sky. My sister’s friends bought a star in my mother’s name, and while it cannot possibly be the same stardust of which she is made, at least it looks like her. My version of my mother has always been a star. This just makes it official.
This is because I’ve now had almost as many years of living away from Texas as I have living close to her. Staring up at the night sky was a way of reaching out… no doubt reinforced by Somewhere Out There in An American Tail. I can still hear it in Lindsay’s three-year-old voice as we cruised toward Playa del Carmen. It was Talent Show night, and she brought the house down… along with my heart going to pieces every time I’ve thought about that memory since. The only comforting thing is knowing that there are about three hundred other people who ALSO cry remembering that voice… because unlike the mice in the movie, Lindsay could stay on pitch. She was perfect, as evidenced by the fact that I was crying, Mom was crying, dad was crying, and perfect strangers were a complete mess. I have no doubt that babies were conceived that night, hoping to get a version of her. It made my ovaries explode, and I was only nine (well, almost).
Every day my sister gets more precious to me, the person who keeps me grounded when I look at the stars and want to stay there.
At least now, I don’t have to pay for a hotel.