Everyone agrees that our lives go through phases, something like the moon. For a period of 27 days, the moon progresses through certain stages or phases. Each phase has its own set of unique viewing characteristics, so that we on Earth see each being different from another. And then on some certain night, there is no moon at all—until it returns.
We have phases in our lives too–the last phase is an event that no one wants to talk about–the moment of death.
Who will we be at the moment of our death? Will we be our bank accounts, our Mercedes, our Country Club memberships, or our jobs? I think not. At the moment of death these things—things we may have strived for all our lives— will not be important at all. The only important thing will be the new phase of our life—our eternity, how and with whom we’re about to spend it.
Here’s the first page of “Moon Dance: A Love Story,” the eighth story in my collection, Birds of a Feather. And here is a multiple choice questions for consideration after reading it. Click on the book cover to order the book.
What is the promise of return that Anna speaks of in the story?
1. a return to her youth
2. that the nurse will come back to give her a pain pill
3. God’s promise to his people.: Eternal life
Moon Dance: A Love Story
Every night, when she makes her rounds, she finds us watching the Georgia moon. We lay together in a single bed to catch the first inkling of its light and nightly mark its swell from miniscule to magnificent. We tell her of its essence, that it is something much bigger and brighter than itself. She gives us a condescending, “Uh huh, Shugah;” then leans over to tuck the white sheet around our thighs, and brush a dark hand across our foreheads. She smells of honey.
In the darkness, we point out to her the way the moon takes center stage to a sparkle of dancing stars, how it soon becomes distorted, fades and passes, leaving only a promise of return. We tell her that return is certain—our covenant between nothing and everything, between life and death. But she only wrinkles her sweet, black face and smiles, a tall silhouette against the silver light from the window.
“Night, night, Miz Anna,” she says.
I expect her to give us a kiss goodnight, but instead she gives us a pill for pain. On her way out, she does not close the window. She does not shut our door. We do not allow her to do that, because we will not be fastened here forever.
The artificial light from the hall draws a triangular shape on the linoleum, pierces the soft splash of moonlight that spreads downward from the foot of our bed. The illumination of the hall is soon extinguished by a human hand, but we lie in a radiance the human hand does not control. In the night, we speak of the covenant, the promise in death. I see its purpose. Death is passage. Death is close.
One hundred and six years old, both of us, we’ve held many who passed before us, held them in our arms as they took a last breath—parents, children, grandchildren, others we loved. I tell Will, my beloved husband, that God’s desires are greater than our own. He accepts the truth in that. Then we speak of our daughter, our first child.
Copyright 2014 Kaye Hinckley