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River & Roads – SHINE ON, SON, SHINE ON

We sat around the table Monday night, my angels and I. This is an incredible group of women – each dedicated to helping the lost souls who come to Hope Lives Here – all the while nursing hurting hearts of their own. They carry the sorrow of others and I am grateful to be in their company. Taryn, Kathy, Anne, Lori, Robyn, Nikki, Alison, Jen, Donna, Sheri, Bev, and Robin – I love you!

So there we sat. It had been a productive night and as we got ready to leave, Anne announced she had a gift for me. I immediately started to get a little anxious. My feelings have been out of whack since January and my instincts told me to brace myself.

“We know that an important anniversary is coming in a few weeks for you and we wanted to let you know we are thinking about you, ” Anne spoke as she reached across the table and handed me the present. With my head down, I carefully unwrapped the package. There was a cardboard box inside and it took me a minute to figure out how to open it. I slid through the tape on one end and reached inside to pull out what looked like a frame. Turning it over, I quickly read the words on the image in front of me.

Luke’s star is in Cepheus – also know as The King constellation. Cause you can’t make this shit up. #NoCoincidences

I couldn’t contain the sob in my throat. They had named a star after Luke. A STAR. I had never heard of anything like this and it was so perfect and so painful at the same time. Sigh. But isn’t that the way with grief?

Unless you have experienced loss you may not understand that sometimes it is the small acts of kindness that get to you the most. I can give and give and give… to my family, my students, my clients at HLH, and feel so strong, so together, but the moment that someone does something for me, I crumble. I continue to be shocked and overwhelmed to think that someone is taking the time to help me; to reach out to me; to hug me. Each one of these kindnesses makes me feel loved and held and this one was no different. What a beautiful gesture. Xxx

In that same brief moment when Luke’s star was revealed, I died a little inside. My angels will cringe to read this, but I know they will understand. Somehow as I looked at Luke’s name, a star in the vast beyond, his absence here and presence there – up near the Little Dipper – was slammed home. He is gone! My head and heart seemed to say in unison. He is really gone. And so I cried. My angels cried with me.

But what a perfect gift! Luke Inwood, my light, a damn fiery force on the planet Earth, now forever glimmering in the night sky. Haven’t I always said I will see you on the other side of the stars, son? And now, thanks to my beautiful friends, I know exactly where to go. Shine on, my sweet boy, shine on. Xxx

Shine On, Son, Shine On

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By Patty Inwood

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