Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Short Lessons in Mourning

"Let's sing hello together,
hello, hello, hello,
let's sing hello together,
hello, hello, hello.

Let's sing hello to Oliver,
hello, hello, hello,
let's sing hello to Oliver,
hello, hello, hello."

My three year-old participates in a Beginning Music Makers class where at the start of each session we sing and wave hello to each student. At the end of class the kids know it is time to go home when we sing goodbye to each of them. Some of the children get a little mad because they don't want to leave and some even shed a few tears. Luckily that age-group is easily distracted!

I've been reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and can't shake the feeling as I work my way towards the end that I will need time to mourn the loss of my new friends Francie, Katie and Neeley. Everyday when I sit down to read about their daily adventures and tragedies I sing the "Hello" song to them in my head because I am so happy to be with them again. There are a lot of great books out there but only a few that suck me in so strongly that I feel as though I am a part of the characters' family and I'm sure after I close the book each night that they go sleep dreaming of me as I do them.

As I am nearing the end of the book I am beginning to feel that same sense of loss that I have felt in prior captivating books. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn isn't the type of book that you read so you can reach the conclusion to find out "who done it" because there is no villain unless you think life ought to be fair. I could reread the book but that would be like looking at pictures of deceased loved ones. You can revisit them but it isn't like sitting down with a fresh cup of tea, it is more like reusing the tea bag from yesterday.

So tonight I will sing goodbye to Francie, Katie and Neeley with a wistful heart.

"Goodbye Francie,
goodbye Katie,
goodbye Neeley,
goodbye, goodbye, goodbye."

It has been grand!


paige said...

Ah, my very favorite book. Keep them close by--you'll want to visit them often. The Nolans hang out on a shelf with the Dashwoods and the Love in a Cold Climate family (absolutely cannot remeber their names right now).

Lisa Greenfelder said...

A good book is truly a treasure. Thanks for sharing, I will add it to my virtual bookshelf.

Carol said...

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is quite possibly my favorite book ever. It inspires a cozy feeling that I just can't explain.

I normally read it once every winter but I somehow forgot this year. I am off to find it now. Thanks for the reminder.