This was a very nice story to welcome me back to this collection of shorts. The struggle to read these stories continues.
This is our second encounter with Doerr. We first met her back in 2013 when I read and briefly wrote about Edie: A Life.
It looks like we’ll run into her writing again when her story appeared in the Best American Short Stories 2003.
This story appeared in the December 24,, 1990, edition of The New Yorker. Quickly flipping through the pages of that issue, nothing really stands out to draw any sort of reflection on those times. Typical adverts for cars, booze, books, and travel. Nothing newsworthy stands out.
In December 1990, I was home from Norwich – my first time back since leaving for school in the summer. I was a shell-shocked, shaved head, boy.
To the story. Reading this, there is a portion of the story where the main character reflects back to a tender moment between her and her husband who died three years ago.
I wonder sometimes what position I will be in (hopefully) many years from now. Will I be missed or will I do the missing? I wonder how M will reflect back on our times together.
At this stage of our lives, our days are taken up with raising the boys.
She wakes up in the mornings, tired, and finishes off making their lunches and breakfasts that I have already started preparing. She dresses them and runs them off to school as I head out the door to the paper. She has a few hours alone before the youngest returns home and lunch prep begins. An hour or so for cuddles and a light nap on the couch after lunch and it’s off to pick up big brother. Returning home, dinner prep begins and homework completion struggles rise. I return home and there is dinner followed by the bedtime routine which usually involves repeated visits from the boys back downstairs until we have to threaten them with “time out” around 9:00 on school nights. By this time, I’m wiped out and dozing in my chair hoping to get into bed by 10 so that I can wake at 5:25 and get a 10K in.
So with this simplified overview of our daily lives, I have to wonder – if I died tomorrow, would there be tender moments that she would reflect back on? So much of the last many years have been taken up with just the day-to-day mundane tasks of living life.
This journal/blog space reflects that too and I point that out quite often. Of course, my fear is that when the time comes for us to have time together, with the boys grown and out of the house, we won’t know each other anymore. I only have this fear generated by my own insecurities.
And this is where this little short story brought me today.