Little Blue Star

When my dad was a kid, his cousin's grandmother died, and the young cousin didn't understand the whole going up to heaven thing. He asked an adult, "But how do I know Nonna's in heaven?" The response was, "You see that star up there?"--pointing to the night sky--"That's a new star. That's your Nonna."

From then on I thought of Blue as my little blue star. It was a coincidence then (maybe) that the receiving blanket he was wrapped in at the clinic was light blue, with dark blue stars. I sleep with that blanket every night. And almost every night, when I am feeling up for it, I read aloud to Blue a bedtime story.

I found the book in a box of my things when the basement flooded a few weeks ago. The books were mostly saved, but I had to remove them from a wet banker's box. Inside, among horse books from my childhood and books I picked up in college, was a children's book. My mom teaches children's literature and has always collected books for her kids to give to our own kids. So it wasn't strange that I had a children's book in my things. But the book itself was interesting: Draw Me a Star, by Eric Carle.

It is so perfect. The illustrations are lovely and there is even a page with a big rainbow among the pages of blue stars. I never make it through the book without sobbing, usually starting from the first page. But it makes me feel close to Blue. I imagine I will read this book with my rainbow baby too, and tell him or her about big brother Blue. And on the last page, when the star in the book says "Hold on to me," we'll all hold on, to each other and to our little blue star.  

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