Two People, One Feeling
You hang out with your friends, and then you fight. You disrespect your parents for a while, and there are arguments. You have an incident as a child that stays with you forever. These are all causes of relationships being torn at over time or suddenly.
Relationships are always complicated even if there is only one flaw. Some begin early and scar for life, while others aren’t visible until it makes its appearance. We see this in Glimmerglass by Jenna Black, The Visibles by Sara Shepard, and Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass. Although these relationships are damaged, in the end they all are repaired. Events in the past can be all it takes to damage a relationship. It takes courage and patience to fix, but for some that can be painfully slow.
Dana Hathaway had to endure an entire 17 years with a shattered relationship that built up over years with her drunken mother. The fantasy Glimmerglass describes a young teenage girl who runs away from her mother into a magic-based world called Avalon. Dana decided to run away from her mother’s care because Ms. Hathaway was a sad excuse of a mom. She was almost always drunk as long as Dana could remember. We see Dana’s faltering relationship with her mother on page 1 when her mother stumbles into her performance drunk: “The absolute last straw was when my mom showed up at my recital drunk.
I don’t mean tipsy–I mean staggering, slurring, everyone-knows drunk…Standing in the wings, I wanted to sink through the floors with embarrassment.” Dana is furious and embarrassed of her mother’s irrational behavior.
Anyone would be if you lived with this drunk of a mother for 17 years. This is the breaking point for Dana and she runs away. But, all relationships are mended, so Dana’s must be too. After a daring adventure by Dana deep into Avalon, murder attempts, and rival siblings fights, there is a bright side. Dana’s mother had mustered up enough willpower and strength to follow Dana and track her down. We see this on page 212 when Dana’s mom promises to go through rehab and become sober: “‘Promise?’ I ask slowly.
A pause. ‘Yes,’ she answers with confidence and fear. I smile to myself. This is it, I think. We’ll be OK.
” It will be a long and rough journey for the both of them, but it is worth it to repair a broken relationship. While many relationships are damaged in the past, events that occurred in the present can be just as impacting. It may take time for the infliction to settle, but in some it digs deep into one’s soul and scars them almost instantly. Summer Davis is living a life where she makes decisions that reflect upon one single day as a teenager. The realistic fiction novel, The Visibles, describes Summer Davis as a typical New York City teenage girl. That was, until her mother left without a trace and left Summer, her brother, Steven, and her father behind.
After the mysterious incident, her father broke down into depression, leaving Summer to care for him 24/7. Watching over your depressed father can be stressful, possibly turning you against him. Summer feels this way about her father on page 50 when he flipped out in the hospital and hid from the nurses like a child: “‘Where is he?’ a nurse asked, out of breath. ‘Who’ I responded, perplexed as I looked behind me to see if she addressed a doctor or someone worth her time. ‘Your father..
. Right?’ I froze. He’s gone? Where could he have possibly went to?…
I pulled him out of the window and slapped him clean across the face. The sound echoed down the hallways. ‘Don’t you ever do that!’ I shouted at him.” Summer was merely protecting her father, but she had also reached her breaking point and bursted. No matter how cruel she was, she was only reacting to the recent incident with her mother.
Summer and her father’s relationship since have been shaky over the years. But when Summer is a full grown adult, her apology is so sincere on page 293: “I stared into his soulless eyes, waiting for a reaction. ‘I’m sorry,’ is what he said. ‘For what?’ I wondered out loud, swallowing my salty tears. ‘For being a weight on your shoulders.
‘” This is such a loving family moment that shows full well how difficult and long it can be to repair a sudden break of problem. You will never have a flawless relationship, even if the people involved may think otherwise. If you take a moment to stop and observe it, deep down passed all obstacles and cover-ups; you will find a tear in the connection. For a mother, this can be one of the hardest actions to perform with a mother-daughter relationship. Mrs.
Reynolds wants to believe her daughter, Tessa, loves her equally, but she had to realize at some point how wrong she was in the fictional book, Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall. Tessa’s mother is a pure perfectionist who tries so hard to turn her daughter into the girl who she was when she was her age: popular, thin, enviable, gorgeous clothes. On page 13 Tessa expresses her feelings about her mother’s ways when she has a fit and tells the hairdresser to ruin her hair: “‘How about,’ she says, ‘if you give her a few highlights? That way mine will look more natural.’ ‘Bleach is also a chemical,’ the hairdresser says. ‘Fine,’ mom snaps, ‘Just cut it all off, then.'” Tessa was only five then, but that is old enough to realize the high expectations your mother is setting.
Tessa knows how tough she is on her, but her mother doesn’t even seem afflicted by her rude comments towards Tessa’s weight and appearance. Despite all of Mrs. Reynolds rude comments and disastrous decisions, Tessa and she must cooperate and apologize. They must mend their relationship ruined by a selfish mother. When Tessa realizes how her mother was just trying to make her loved on page 238, she welcomes her in and enjoys her critiquing: “When Mom tells me the first thing she’s going to do when I’m well enough is to take me for a facial because this hospital air will dry out anyone’s skin, I just smile and say okay, but only if she’ll come with me. Because I know that by trying to fix me, she is really trying to fix herself.
..I see Mom stiffen beside him at the mention of ice cream but for once she doesn’t say anything.” A mother and daughter relationship may be one of the hardest relationships to mend, but Tessa and Mrs. Reynolds finally accepted each other for who they truly are and that they can’t be changed.
They took a moment to see their differences and compromised in the middle. These troubled characters all had to experience the destruction of their relationship with another human being. Dana, Summer, and Tessa all fixed the deep gashes in their emotions and lives. Whether it is an issue developing over time, or a sudden surprise, or even a secret lying just beneath the surface of the water. Relationships aren’t perfect, but they are broken.
But the best point about that is that they can be put back together. Piece by piece, minute by minute, one step at a time.