Yesterday, I shared that I am reading The Tale of Despereaux byKate DiCamillo to my children, Alex and Megan.
On our final day of the #SOL20 Challenge, I want to share this with you:
At the last moment, Antoinette came out of her faint and shouted one word to her child.
That word, reader, was adieu.
Do you know the definition of adieu? Don't bother with your dictionary. I will tell you.
Adieu is the French word for farewell...
But reader, there is no comfort in the word "farewell" even if you say it in French. Farewell is a word that, in any language, is full of sorrow. It is a word that promises absolutely nothing.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who was one of my favorite authors, and who passed away untimely, too soon, refers to the Tale of Despereaux in her book, Textbook. On pages 316-317, she creates a new poem based on the final lines in books including Our Town, The Razor's Edge, and of course, Despereaux. It is gorgeous. In this time of quarantine, if you are looking for reading material, I highly recommend Textbook. The whole book is interesting and funny and sad but these last pages always strike me.
Goodbyes are never easy. Sometimes we see them coming and can prepare closure of some sorts, a proper send off. Other times, they are a sudden tearing apart, a chapter closing before you ever saw it coming. There have been so many goodbyes.
As we end this year's Slice of Life Story Challenge, I hope it is more "so long" than "farewell." I hope you will be back on Tuesdays. I hope the stories continue. I hope what you've written this month you will return to, or share with your children or grandchildren some day. These have been and continue to be historic days. I pray you are well. I pray you stay that way. I pray the stories never end.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski