We sat on the bed, propped the pillows behind our backs and pulled the covers over out feet. He handed me the book and snuggled under my arm. Many Moons was the read of the night. I knew the book by heart, so I didn’t even need to look at the pages. Tonight though, I made sure that we read every last word on the pages. We stopped at every picture and added our own version of the story. The pages were so shiny and clean. The pictures were vibrant and joyful. It was my favorite story. Even though we had read it a million times before tonight was special. Tonight was the last time we were reading together.
Page by page we got to the back cover. I closed the book and tried my best to sound positive and upbeat. “It is time to go to bed!” - I said.
He climbed in my lap, looked up and stared at my face. His bright, brown eyes were so sad. I could see millions of unasked question and not one of them was a question I could answer. “Why are you leaving? Don’t you love me anymore? Are you going to forget me?” Yes, I love you. No, I am never going to forget about you. The one question I didn’t have an answer for was “Why?” All I knew was that this little person had stolen my heart, and it was heartbreaking to think that I was never going to see him again. I couldn’t bear the thought that his little heart was aching and, even though I was the reason for it, there was nothing I could do to make it easier on him. I looked at him and spoke with a soft voice, “I will not be here to read you a story and tell you “Good night” but I know a trick.” I picked him up and carried him to the window, pulled the blinds up and looked up in the clear summer night. The moon was full and bright. The stars twinkled brightly, it reminded me of his eyes. I pointed at them and said: “Did you know that no matter where in world people are, they all see the same stars at night?” He looked at me and his eyes got twice their usual size. He shook head – he didn’t know that. “Well, they do. So, tomorrow evening when you are ready to go to bed, come to the window, pull the blinds up and look up in the sky. Find a star that you like best and say “Good night”. No matter where I am, I will make sure to find a window and tell the stars to tell you “Good night” too.” My voice shivered as spoke those words. He leaned on my shoulder and whispered: “It could be our special thing!”
His hands wrapped around my neck in a never ending, warm and sad hug. I closed my eyes and I felt the tears running down my face. I could not help by bury my face in his hair and take a deep breath. Ah, he smelled like a summer day.
I rocked him to sleep that night.
I put him in his bed and tucked him in. I walked away from the bed, stopped at the door and turned to look at him. I stood there for a minute and then turned around and closed the door.
Many days and countless nights have gone by since, but the promise stood the test of time. Every night, before I go to bed, I say "Good night" to the stars.
I believe in love, angels without wings and the healing power of magical promises.