Fay pointed her chubby finger skyward and giggled. Her bright eyes sparkling with joy. Rhea stood on the grassy knoll behind their ranch, 2 year old Fay resting on her hips. Fay was fascinated by the night skies and the numerous twinkling stars. Rhea couldn’t help but feel amused. When she was expecting, she would often lay on the grass and watch the stars at night while she waited on Jason to return from work. She even named her daughter “Fay” – attendant of the moon in the night sky. Rather poetic. What were the chances her baby girl liked the galaxy too.
Every night after dinner, Rhea would carry Fay out into the field and show her the stars in the sky. “This one is Grandma Esther, and this one is Grandpa Eli. And this is Nelley, our first four legged child.” Fay would look and giggle like she understood every word of what was being said. Soon she started to point to the stars when her mom named them.
Fast forward 3 years. “Mom, when Rusty dies, will he become a star too?” she asked innocently. Rhea smiled. Rusty was their 11 year sheltie. He still had a few good years in him so she wasn’t ready to let him go just yet, but she humored her child. “Yes sweetie. All of us die and become stars. When Rusty Dies, he will go join Nelley in the sky”. Fay looked at the Nelley star. “How about you, me and Dad?” she asked. Rhea chuckled. This child is hell bent on making a star out of every living being she thought. “Oh I hope that doesn’t happen for a long time, Fay.” she said as she caressed her daughter’s worried forehead. “Me and Dad are still young and you are but a baby. We have a lot of living to do still and plenty of the world to see.” Undeterred, Fay asked “So how long? Like 100 years?” Rhea chastised herself for ever telling her daughter about stars. “Yes, 100 years sounds about right” she said, eager to change the subject. “Sooooo, what do you want for dinner tonight?” she asked. “How about star soup, Mom?” came the answer pat, followed by a sigh from Rhea. 🙂
When Uncle Pete asked Fay what she wanted for Christmas, she said “I’ve asked Santa for a telescope. So I can look at stars. I’m going to grow up and be a starologist, you know” she said, dead serious. Pete tried to keep a straight face but he burst out laughing. “I can see you as a starologist, Kittens” he said “But I think they call it Astronomer. Astro means star. So you’d be Astronomer Fay.” he added. “That would make my name Star Star” she said. “That’s funny! You’re funny, Uncle Pete!” she said as she ran off to tell her cousin, Meg about this new discovery. That Christmas, she got a telescope from Santa and a lab coat from Uncle Pete that read “Astronomer Fay AKA Star Star”. She wore it everywhere. Even to bed.
A year later, Pete found out he was being transferred to Culver City, 3,000 miles from their quaint old town of Nessville. Rhea was bummed. Pete was her younger brother and the only family she had left. His wife, Sarah and their daughter, Meg were constant fixtures at the Rhea and Jason household. It would be quiet without them. Fay took it the hardest. She loved Uncle Pete and Meg was like a sister. She was inconsolable. Pete tried a few different ways to convince her that he would still call every weekend and they could all still visit over the holidays. She wouldn’t have any of it. Finally Pete, to Rhea’s chagrin, pointed to the night sky with the trio of stars and said “You know what Fay-ster, those 3 stars are us. Every night you can see us and talk to us and tell us about your day.” That had the opposite effect on Fay. “Nooooo, are you going to all die?” she asked, tears running down her face. Now Pete was stumped.
He came up with a brilliant idea. “You remember how I told you about astronomers and how they study stars?” he asked Fay. She nodded solemnly. “They’ve come up with this new thing where if you want to talk to family that lives far away, you can use one of these million stars in the sky. They will take your message and relay it to the right people.” Rhea who was within earshot looked at her brother like he had lost his mind and rolled her eyes. “Really Uncle Pete? Is that true? That is soooo high tech” Fay yelped animatedly. SCORE! That was easy! After that, Pete and Fay spent hours coming up with a timetable for sending and receiving messages and other miscellaneous “high tech” stuff. Pete made sure to make it sound elaborate so it would be more believable for Fay.
That was 10 years ago. Now with the technological advances, Fay calls Uncle Pete on her cell whenever she wants or Skypes him at night. But when she feels really down or wants to share something really personal with him, she crawlsout onto the roof by her bedroom window, looks up at the star trio and whispers her thoughts to him. Sarah says she’s seen Pete do something similar but he denies it!
They say all that glitters is not gold, but all that twinkles is definitely a star.