The stinging slap against her cheek whipped her head sideways. Her hand reflexively went to her burning face. "I told you no, " Tobe said, barely above a whisper. Daphne had no words. He'd never so much as hinted at touching her in anger before. She now understood what stunned speechless meant.
I readan article by a highly educated man wherein he told with what conscientious pains he had brought up all his children tobe skeptical of everything, never to believe anything in life or religion or their own feelings without submitting it to many rational doubts, to have a persistent, thoroughly skeptical, doubting attitude toward everything.... I think he might as well have taken them out in the backyard and killed them with an ax.
I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me tobe doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways.... The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor.
Henry David Thoreau
Families have always been in flux and often in crisis; they have never lived up to nostalgic notions about "the way things used tobe." But that doesn't mean the malaise and anxiety people feel about modern families are delusions, that everything would be fine if we would only realize that the past was not all it's cracked up to be. . . . Even if things were not always right in families of the past, it seems clear that some things have newly gone wrong.
What part of confidante has that poor teapot played ever since the kindlyplant was introduced among us. Why myriads of women have cried over it, tobe sure! What sickbeds it has smoked by! What fevered lips have received refreshment from it! Nature meant very kindly by women when she made thetea plant; and with a little thought, what a series of pictures and groupsthe fancy may conjure up and assemble round the teapot and cup.
William Makepeace Thackeray
For anyone who wonders what it's like to have a tragedy shatter your existence, this is what I would tell them: it's like going through the motions of everyday life in a zombified state. It's having outbursts of anger for what seems like no apparent reason, for even the smallest of offenses. It's forgetting how tobe your once cheerful, perky self, and having to relearn basic social skills when mingling with new people (especially if those people are ignorant, or just plain terrible at showing sympathy). It takes a while to re-learn all those basic skills. Maybe... it's possible. Maybe you have to want your life back first, before it can start repairing itself But then you also have to accept that the mending process may take the rest of your life. I don't think there's a set time limit for it.