There’s a lovely crescent moon out tonight doing its best to light the night sky. This little sliver of a moon is encircled by a halo of light that looks like smudged paint. Could it be moon dust, I wonder?
If I were to write a book called Good Night Moon, my moon would definitely be crescent shaped. I would ask it to shine its light into my daddy’s bedroom window so he would no longer be afraid of the night. Maybe if it could shine bright enough, it would help daddy stop bumping into floors. Dad’s wearing a bad shiner right now around his left eye. Last week it was crescent shaped, but now it’s a full moon encircling his eye. Purple, blue and yellow—he says it doesn’t hurt.
I would tell my moon how thankful I am that my brother Jon has been able to help me care for Dad this Tuesday and last. As I do the housekeeping, Jon helps Daddy with personal care. It feels good to help Dad the way he helped us kids when we were little. This circle of caregiving shows that we have a cycle just as the moon does. Where the moon goes from a blank new moon to a gorgeous full moon back to a blank new moon, we humans begin life needy and end life needy. And in the middle, when we are full of ourselves and our own light, we are still needy though we often do not see our need. It is probably our own blinding light that makes us a little dim-witted.
I would tell my moon that I’m now on the light-dimmer side. The light is slipping out of my moon bit by bit, and in a mere twenty years, I’ll be close to my father’s age. God willing. And I can’t even imagine living the shrunken shriveled life my daddy is living right now – too frail to walk, too frail to talk. Is he becoming a new moon – invisible to the eye, but there all the same?
The moon borrows its light from the sun. And Daddy borrows his light from us. And like that lovely crescent moon outside my window tonight, Daddy is doing his best to light up his world.
Cat Stevens sang a song called Moonshadow that speaks to Daddy’s dimming light.
“And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg,
Yes if I ever lose my legs, oh if … I won’t have to walk no more.
And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, oh if… I won’t have to talk…”
I guess that smudge paint halo that tonight’s crescent moon is wearing is a moon shadow. Good night, moonshadow.