Julie Schumacher – December 2, 1958
This short story was Schumacher’s first published story, and it was so strong, it was chosen by two editors for this anthology – and as trippy things go, it is the first of two stories in this collection with this title.
It really is a fine piece of work. It has a depth within the sentences that give the story so much more than what you first encounter.
The final paragraph is especially stirring if your relationship to your mother is similar to the narrator’s.
My mother is going through a particularly interesting part of her life now. She retired from teaching 2nd grade last year after 30 years of faithful service. She now spends about 20 hours a day taking care of my step-father who is very old and suffering from his age.
Now, those 20 hours aren’t spent at his side...but when you have an elderly man who calls out to you for no reason but to know that you are there...you are pretty much by his side most of the time. She works to keep the house orderly and the gardens watered. It’s difficult because as she will admit, her mind is distracted by a million things a minute.
She has help from care providers and we do what we can, when we can.
We took her out this past Saturday for a little shopping trip and lunch. Actually, she took us out – I drove. She bought Mirela a ton of clothes as well as a Glider and ottoman for the baby’s room.
She found the time in her life and money to do this for us...even in her place in this world now.
She’s a good, no great mom.