As I drove to school this morning listening to songs that my daughter Phoebe burned on a CD, I blurted, "Triangles!"
I had grabbed these earrings after thinking about my non-eventful, 92nd day of school: field trip cancelled due to cold; get to school early to tear out worksheets for the geometry unit; make sure we had enough straws for making triangles; prepare for nominating Best Series for the Academy Awards of Books; have materials for pop-up cards since Valentine's Day is on Monday; spelling activity; Thursday newsletter ideas...
"Why didn't I wear triangle earrings?" I muttered to myself. Driving alone to school and back seems to make me more prone to talk to myself aloud. "Oh, well. Some other day."
It wasn't until I took out my earrings to photograph them this evening that I thought about them again. I bought them long ago from the Pennsylvania artist who makes her own Fimo clay beads. I thought the purple center looked like a protostar surrounded by stars: The birth of a new star from a giant molecular cloud.
This afternoon a member of our first grade class died after battling cancer for almost two years. Throughout, Hugh was surrounded by the love of his family and friends.
I think that now these earrings will always make me think of Hugh and of the Inuit proverb, "Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."
Sometimes, when I am alone in the car on a starry night, I talk to some of my lost ones, and bask in the shine of their love.