Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Moon

Tonight I was on an Ile de France train (just a train that connects Paris to some of the suburbs) with some friends, and I saw the moon. I do not notice the moon a lot here, but when I do, it makes it even more special. The sky was not too dark, a deep blue color, and the sliver of the moon shone brightly in contrast to the deep, cloudless sky. I thought of my grandmother and my mother. The moon no longer reminds me of just my grandmother like it used to. For me it now reminds me of my mom just as it does my grandmother. It is my mom's birthday today and I long to wish her a happy birthday in person. A conversation via Skype will have to suffice this year. 

Some of you know the story of the moon. Others do not, so here it is. I was very close to my grandmother when she was alive. I think this has to do with the fact that I spent a lot of time with my Grandpa and Grandma Porter since they lived across the street when I was very little and I stayed at their house when my parents worked nights. My grandma and I always sang the moon songs together and when I was sad to leave, she reminded me that all I needed to do was look at the sky and see the moon to be close to her. She promised she would do the same. And so, throughout my life, this is what I do. Because of her, I love the moon. It makes me feel close to her. I think she would really like to see that I am living in Paris right now, following my dreams. The night of my grandmother's death there was a huge snowstorm. My mom and her amazing driving abilities somehow made it from our home near Caberfae Peaks Ski Resort into Cadillac to be with my grandmother, grandfather, and her siblings. I stayed home, knowing that it was grandma's last night, looking out my window at the blinding snow. Later that night, the storm calmed and the sky opened slightly for just a few minutes and I saw the moon. At that moment, I knew she had died, but I also knew that she was at peace and would always be a part of me. I look down at my ring right now and know that she is with me. It was her mother's ring. 

I think of her more at Christmastime than I do throughout the rest of the year. She loved this time of year. I loved Christmas caroling with her, my grandfather, other family members, and members of the church. Christmas Eve at my grandparent's house was my favorite day of the year, filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and lots of good food and Christmas cookies. It was magical for me. Then in the evening we went to church for the Christmas Eve service. We sang Christmas songs and towards the end of the service, the church went dark and one-by-one, everyone's mini candles were lit for the singing of Silent Night. Silent Night is my favorite Christmas song and I think this is why. 

So now, here I am in Paris for Christmas. Don't get me wrong, it is beautiful here and I am so happy to be able to experience the Christmas season in Paris, but it is hard to be so far away. I wish I could be with my family for Christmas, and I'm sure there will be many tears this week. Except for right after I arrived, I have not had much trouble with feeling homesick. Knowing that I will be here for Christmas instead of with family makes me homesick. However, I will be ok. I have the moon. And that means I have my grandma. I haven't felt this close to her in years. On Christmas Eve night, when I am somewhere with the family celebrating the holiday, I will step outside and hopefully see the moon. And I know it will help me feel a little better. This is why I love the moon. It warms my heart and keeps me close to two of the most wonderful people in my life, my grandmother and my mother. Happy Birthday Mom. I love you. 

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