It was a lovely spring day and we headed out to the little town of Independence, TX, on a quest for some wildflowers for Corrie's science project. We also visited the spot where this time last year, my husband and I scattered our daughter, Meredith's ashes. The bluebonnets were lush and wonderful; we picked flowers (illegal, but the kid might get an "A" if she gets 25 different ones, bonus for bluebonnets) and had a truly glorious day. There is something affirming about seeing the flowers in their resplendent colors, the cows and horses grazing among them. Meredith's instructions to me were to scatter her among the bluebonnets. I could not do too much for her the last few months of her life, but I was resolved that she get her wish of final resting place, so to speak.
All this is prelude. I picked up a copy of Erin Vincent's GRIEF GIRL this afternoon and read it from one cover to the other in the space of a couple of hours. It was positively the right thing to do, not maudlin, not sentimental. This is Vincent's account of the day she received a phone call telling her that her parents had been involved in an accident. Her father was in the hospital and her mother was already dead. Her life changed in that instant and was to change even more when her father died unexpectedly just a few weeks later. Vincent recounts her life with remarkable clarity and absolutely no self pity. Instead, she allows her younger self to play the role in what amounts to the story of her life. At times, it seems almost fictional. You, as a reader, have to step back and remind yourself that Vincent is real. This may be just me reading my own experiences into the story, but I think not. I think this is the result of the incredible almost matter of fact writing style Vincent emplys in telling us her story. I am now passing this one along to the teens in the back room to get their take. They are, after all, the ones who lost their mother when they were 9 and 11. It will be interesting to see how they respond.