"You never stop missing them. It was a simple thing to say.
But I'd never heard anyone say it before. Not the grief counselor.
Not my mom. Everyone seemed to think the opposite: you moved on, you
forgot, it was impolite to keep talking about it. My mom had stopped
missing my dad years ago."
One of the first things Eva, protagonast of Margo Rabb's Kissing
America, reveals about herself is that she tells people that her
father died of a heart attack. The truth, that he met his demise in a
plane crash elicits too much morbid curiosity. Although it's been two
years since the tragedy much is still unknown. She just hopes his
last minutes were not in a state of terror.
Eve keeps small possessions of her father's in a shoe box hidden
in her closet. Her mother has outwardly moved on, cleaned all traces
of him from their living space, and found a boyfriend, Larry.
However, she keeps Eva on a very short leash, fearful that the
unimaginable can also happen to her.
Eva doesn't have anyone with whom she can share thoughts about
her loss until she begins to tutor Will, a young man who knows grief
intimately. His brother died in infancy. Just as she is coming to
rely on him (oh, yeah, and in love) he moves across the country to
live with his dad. Now she has to find a way to somehow rejoin him
that her very protective mother won't totally veto.
Her quest becomes quite a journey of discovery.
On a personal note, the December Orono Arts Cafe was wonderful. I
read some of my Christmas poems which were well received. Then at the
very end I did a sing along of Go Tell It On The Mountain. I reminded
people how radical it was that the Messiah was born into the family of
a man in the building trades like my Eugene (The rich and powerful
thought he'd hang out and be all holier than thou with them) and that
the star, the sign was shown to some of the lowliest workers, the
shepherds. Then I asked them to think on times they'd had news they
wanted to share with the world. Then we belted that song out with all
the joy and excitement it called for.
A great big shout out goes out to my Orono Arts Cafe family.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod