Like that title? I thought you would. Super good writing is super good, you know. Unlike what I do here.
I was reading an article on newspaper competition in New Orleans, and there was a link to this book review, “She Left Me the Gun” by Emma Brockes. I tend to not read book reviews (or movie reviews) because I don’t want any spoilers. So I don’t know why I read this one. The book is a memoir of a woman searching out her mother’s history. It sounds pretty amazing.
The review ended with a spoiler about the title and a line from the book:
This is just about the only thing about “She Left Me the Gun” that’s unsatisfying, however. This is a grim story, but it’s also a love story.
“Her genius as a parent,” Ms. Brockes writes about Paula, was that her protection was invisible. “If the landscape that eventually emerged can be visualized as the bleakest thing I know — a British beach in winter — she stood around me like a windbreak so that all I saw was colors.”
Wow. I love it. I admit to trying not to cry at my desk when I read it. I am super sentimental about my dad — he raised me and is everything to me. And sometimes when I am all panicky, I think that when he dies, there won’t be anyone left on earth who loves me like he does. No matter what. Always. It’s his best quality: He’s always happy to see you. To hear from you. To make time for you. He’ll listen to whatever you need to talk about, offer advice, won’t be scared off when you say all the horrible thoughts you have, or think mean things or act like a total moron.
Which I’ve done. A lot.
And even though he made a lot of really bad decisions and had a lot of horrible things happen to him, and we did, too, like Brockes’ mother, he tried to make my life better. And he did. Just by being there. By always, always being there.