A sad story means, this story teller is alive.
The next thing you know,
something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile" (Little Bee 9).
As we browsed through the bookstore my sister said, "I don't read Anita Shreve anymore. She's too sad." I was surprised. I like Anita Shreve's work. But then again, I like sad stories. That's what many of the best people are made of. I drove home from the bookstore wondering if my love for sad stories ought to be numbered among my defects, but then I read the above quote from the novel Little Bee. And it was as if she was sticking her head into our conversation. A sad story means the story teller is alive, and so I must ammend my first statement to say that I like stories...because they're about survivors.
Some days I feel like a survivor, don't you? We are survivors of loneliness, disappointment, emotional inconsistency, and financial duress. We survive hard marriages, hard children, hard jobs and every version of personal failure. We struggle to get in shape, to pay our bills, to arrive on time, and to bear children. Where on earth is that elusive Mister Right... or the right school, the right neighborhood, the right friend, and the right attitude. There is almost always something pressing on the line, and yet we flounder.
There are sad stories splashed across the news, our favorite blogs, and often in the middle of our own homes. But this sort of reality doesn't leave me pale and trembling, and I hope it doesn't you either. There are just too many wonderful instances of survival to discount the impact that sad stories have on our life. I know some Amazon women, some emotionally women warriors who have treated sadness and disappointment as a doormat to be crossed over. I love this image. I hope that those of you caring heavy burdens today will tuck in and cross gracefully. Eventually, eventually, your hard times will make you strong.