Posted by: jeannineatkins | November 6, 2007

Last Words

A neighbor called yesterday to alert me to her daughter’s mischief in our yard, then I got a follow up call from the eleven-year-old girl, usually chatty and upbeat, but now so repentant that I was glad we weren’t face to face and she could see me grin. She blurted out her “I’m sorry that I…” then caught her breath and finished up with “um, responsibility,” the word she clearly was instructed to use just dangling.

“Thanks. It’s okay, sweetheart,” I said and could hear her breathe again.

When I tried to recreate the short conversation to my husband, he smiled and said, “She hit all the right notes,” patching the lessons her mom told her into the narrative. Not unlike me, who sometimes yearns to underline messages in my stories. Do you get it? All this life we draw conclusions and I so want to pass on my wisdom, but I try to slap my own hands, and cross out those last lines, last paragraphs, sometimes last pages of my stories. Trying to remember to just let the story be.

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