When I was a little girl, my mom taught me a song about the moon. It was always comforting to me because it described the moon as something we all have in common; it seemed to make the world a smaller, less scary place.
“I see the moon, the moon sees me.
The moon sees somebody I want to see.
God bless the moon, and God bless me.
And God bless the somebody I want to see.”
I taught the song to our kids and the Gallagher kids when they were very young. We affectionally call it “The Moon Song”, and it has comforted the kids many times over the years.
There was a full moon on the night before Don died. I don’t remember much about that morning. I don’t even remember who drove me home from the hospital. Andrew? Maybe Molly? But I do remember coming home about 5:30 in the morning, and looking out the window of the car. The moon was low and full and beautiful in the late November sky. And I remember thinking to myself, “We will never look at the moon the same way again.”
The full moon has definitely taken on new meaning. We went to the Griffith Observatory to see it a few months after Don died. Molly has a framed poster of the phases of the moon hanging in her room. A t-shirt with the full moon is Carrie’s new favorite. And I suspect that one or more of my kids will have a small full moon tattoo one of these days.
So this past Saturday night was a big deal in the Rhymer house. When the full moon is closest to the earth in it’s elliptical orbit, it’s called a “supermoon”. It was described as the biggest, fullest and brightest moon of 2013. In fact, I read that the moon was 16,000 miles closer than usual. Sweet Molly sent me a text that read “P.S. The supermoon is when the moon is closest to the earth. Papa will be close!!” That made me smile and cry at the same time.
There’s another “moon song” that has taken up residence in my heart. This one, “I’ll Be Seeing You”, is comforting for a different reason. Billie Holiday describes what I can’t even begin to put into words: the number of times every day that I “see” Don, or am reminded of a memory; a laugh we’ve shared. A restaurant we’ve been to. A story about the kids. A text from a friend telling me how much they miss him.
“I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces, all day through.
In that small café, the park across the way,
The children’s carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well.
I’ll be seeing you in every lovely summer’s day.
In everything that’s light and gay, I’ll always think of you that way.
I’ll find you in the morning sun, and when the night is new.
I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.”
God bless the somebody I want to see. I’ll be looking at the moon, Donald. But I’ll always see you.