She would have been seventeen today.
17... can you believe it?
I do not tend to cling to calendar dates of memory, nor coffin plots for prayer, but just this once, on this raw reminder of a day, I allow myself a cry. A shudder. A deep wallowing. It's my therapy; along with a piece of still warm bread, swathed in butter and chased by an ice cream toast to her life.
Oh Sterling Moss.
We moved to Vermont over 7 years ago, carting Sterling and her brother George along with us. Life here was bound to be good, and it was. It is. But contentment is a hard skill to master and so we would jokingly (but not quite) say:
"Well Sterling, when you die, we will start. There will be chickens and a root cellar, maybe blueberry bushes down by the pines. The picture of the goat in my wallet can turn from dream into reality and we will have row after row of beans and bees, our own Innisfree. but not yet..."
She never saw our comments as cruel; they weren't meant to be. She was simply our time post for the future, a marker for life there, up ahead.
Presently, books on chicken coops and duck raising surround me and plans to visit friends' farms and beehives are in order. I should be thrilled, but what I hadn't considered when making these plans was that to get "there", I was to leave Sterling behind.
Timing is everything and really, I know deep down that what was mean by those plans was a way to keep transition at bay. Those early Vermont years we struggled to keep our day to day life afloat, salving the rough patches with our dreams of the future. It had nothing to do with Sterling's timeline, but today it has everything to do with
In her final days, the kitchen counter looked like this:
recently I turned to that same counter, gave a lopsided smirk and snapped a picture
Oh, our life. Balanced by gnawed off bunny ears and jars full of kefir, bean sprouts and who knows what else. This is the now. This is who we are as we begin "life there, up ahead", but how I wish her bottles were on the counter again, if only for one more day.
I miss you, girl. Party hard today. XOXOXO