I often feel that way when I finish a book, or especially a series of books. The books that really speak to me the most are the ones with strong characters, because I start to think of it not merely as a book or a story, but as a person, and I start to relate to them and have almost a sense of a relationship with them. Sometimes they irritate me and I get annoyed (I have been known to verbalize my emotions out loud at times) and other times I am so touched and moved by their story that I cry. I cried for Lydia and Melissa in the Work and the Glory when their babies died. I cried for Jessie several times. And I cried for all the Saints for the many trials they endured. But just like any of life's trials, they made me feel closer to them. And I'm just really going to miss them.
I have moved on now (really, I've left the Steeds for less than 24 hours and already moved on- for some reason I feel a little bit dirty about that...) to a book called Wild Swans. It is a nonfiction biographical story of 3 women of 3 generations (grandmother, mother, and daughter) in China starting in the early 1900s. I have always found the Chinese culture fascinating, so I am intrigued by this book. So far we have foot binding, war lords, and concubines. I think it will take me some time to get to know these women, but I look forward to taking this journey with them and expanding my world view in the process.
By the way, my son read his first 4 words all by himself today. He's been learning his letters and sounds in preschool and so I decided to just see if he could sound out a few simple words- cat, dog, pig, and rat. He did it!! He got a little frustrated on some of them, so I explained to him why it was so cool to read. I told him that when he learns to read he'll be able to learn about anything he wants to whenever he wants- he doesn't have to wait for someone else to read it to him, or wait to watch it on tv. I told him a little bit about the book I started reading and his eyes got all wide. Then he said, "Mommy, I'll be able to read DINOSAUR books!!" I smiled and said, "Yeah, any dinosaur book you want!!" He was pretty excited about that. Maybe someday soon he'll open a book and make a friend, just like his mom. ;-)