Blog/ Family/ Music

This Year

Near the end of a phenomenal Mountain Goats show. Amazing energy, the barn has been in flames all night, and even though I want to punch the drunk screamers just as much as usual, I’m still so glad I’m here. John launches into the song, people are pogoing around the floor, nodding their heads  vigorously in indie fervor, and I’m smiling, smiling, smiling. Then John gets to the line: “I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me.”

Earlier today, someone was congratulating me for the Oregon Book Award nomination for Rules and some other things on the librarian side that I haven’t blogged about. I thanked her. She said: “This has been a great year for you!”

I smiled, or tried to. “Mostly,” I said.

Lots of good things have happened to me this year, and I’m both honored and grateful.

But whatever else 2008 has been and will be, it is, for me, the year my father died.

I know that based on his lyrics, John Darnielle’s feelings about his stepfather are just about the opposite of my feelings about my dad.

But tonight that line rang so true and so hard that the tears came. Again.

I am gonna make it through this year.

If it kills me.

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  • sdn
    October 22, 2008 at 6:09 am

    i love you, sara. i know where you’ve been. lmk if there is anything i can do.

  • Bridget Zinn
    October 22, 2008 at 8:48 am

    That first year after losing a parent is so hard. I cried so much that at one point I would go to sleep crying and wake up crying (I had a very wet face that year :)). The raw horribleness numbs up a bit after that, I swear.

    Hang in there!

  • Dylan Meconis
    October 22, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Hang in there, lady. You’re doing really really well, although it might not feel that way from the inside.

  • Liza Q. Wirtz
    October 23, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Sara, friend from my long-lost but never-forgotten Ann Arbor days, whom I found quite by accident wandering through comments on Hanne’s blog: I’m so glad to get glimpses of you as you are now here on your site, but so very sorry to hear how hard the year has been for you, and why. My extraordinarily beloved mother died of early-onset senile dementia two weeks ago, at the we-did-not-have-her-nearly-long-enough age of 68, and I think I’m still in shock. I’m thinking of you, as I often have over the years – but even more so tonight.

  • Sara
    October 23, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks, everyone.

    Liza, how wonderful to hear from you, but I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I will write more in email.

  • Victoria
    October 28, 2008 at 7:49 pm


    I too am very glad to see you turn up here, though like Sara I’m horribly sorry to hear about your mom.

    Hugs, dear gal. Lots and lots of interstate hugs.

    –Lerve, your pal Victoria from the booksellin’ days.