We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Monday, July 2, 2012


Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors.  The bambini's too.  I first read Coraline to Cody and Autumn, well before the movie they so love came to the big screen.  Then, we read Graveyard Book.  Tonio and I read it last year and it became his favorite.  The kids sat entranced for Odd and the Frost Giants, hanging on every word - "What will happen next?"... And his picture books, Wolves in the Walls, Crazy Hair and the Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish, had the bambini laughing out loud... I read American Gods, Neverwhere, Anansi Boys and Fragile Things...

    And Kim listened.  She listened as the bambini sat silent and wide eyed for their stories.  She was there when they pointed and giggled at the picture books.  She liked me to try to described where I was and what I was feeling as I explored Gaiman's worlds...

    But, it was Stardust that haunted us both, bringing us together in my time of need.

    A little over two years ago, I was sick for what seems like the last time.  A fever burned so hot within me, I couldn't see straight, think clearly, sit still...or let go of Kim.  Prophetic?  Maybe.

    I read this book during this last sickness...and it captured me.

     In this story, a young man promises his love that he will journey into tomorrow to bring her back a fallen star.  He is from the English city of Wall, named for the stone wall that protects our world from the next.  The young man crosses out of Wall to seek the fallen star...."Travel by candlelight is the fastest way to travel." His mom tells him. "Think of me and I will think of you...Always."  I could see the bambini, eyes straining through the darkness.  Focusing in on those words, believing.

     The tale was ours and in my fever I could feel it.  Kim, by my side, doing all she could to nurse me through the 104 fever that raged through my mind, could feel it too.  The world Gaiman made, so beautiful and exoctic, seemed somehow parallel to how I met Kim, became friends with her and grew so entwined with her, that we could not be parted - no matter what.  I was that guy who loved her so very much, that I promised her the stars.  I remember those nights, that Kim showed me the stars, the constellations and told me that she loved me - 'What do stars do?' she asked.  'I dunno Kimmy', I replied spellbound.  "What?".  "They shine." she'd tell me with that hint of a smile that would flip my heart around and around - I'd walk to the other end of the earth to find that fallen shooting star for Kim...and she knew it.

      Kim nursed me back to health - no surprise.  It was the first time I had taken a sick day from work in over 20 years.  20.  That doesn't even seem possible.  We had been together all that time, too.  And I haven't, knock on wood, been sick since October 2010 - tempting fate here - "I'm waiting for the big one."

       Autumn was tranfixed to the screen as the movie neared it's end.  Our hero realizing that his true love, the fallen star, could not pass through the wall into the city of Wall, lest she be reduced to stardust.  It was race against time as most of the characters in the movie needed the fallen star for one reason or another.  The movie's hero, racing through the streets of Wall to get back to the gap in the wall to stop his star in time, before she turns to stardust...In the movie, as you might guess, he makes it.  Just in time.  Autumn was so thrilled - she turned to me and said 'My new favorite movie.  I have to read this book!  Thanks Dad!".

        I could only smile at her.  In the darkness, she could not read my face, thankfully, as I knew the truth of our story...my star...I could not get to the gap in the wall in time.  I ran as hard as I possibly could run - thinking the whole way that I could make in time to prevent her from crossing - to reaffirm my love for her...
        but, like in all bad dreams, I was not fast enough...so much got in my way to slow me down...and my star.  My shining star...passed through the gap in the wall and turned to stardust.
        And I know, everytime that I look up at the night sky and see those beautiful, bright stars, that she is up there shining down....because that is what she told me that stars do....

1 comment:

  1. Wow Dave. This whole post gave me chills. Maybe in part because just a few hours earlier, as I arrived home from Target with the trio, we unloaded into the driveway and Ethan stopped me to do something he has never done before. He hopped out of the car and said, "Where da stars, Mama?" I said, I don't know, buddy, let's look." And though they were faint this evening, he found them. "There the stars, Mommy. There they are." He's always looks for the moon. Tonight was the first time he looked for the stars. :) I love it. And just a few hours later, here I am on your blog.