Sacrifice is inevitable. Eventually, each one of us will have to make a sacrifice that ends up altering the rest of our lives.
But these stories can be some of the hardest to write. Embarking on them, the writer risks sentimentality, cliche, the challenge of rendering your most vivid memories alive on the page. “Experience doesn’t matter just because it happened to you” a great creative writing professor of mine has been known to say, and those are wise words to remember. At best, stories about family and loss can be some of the most transformative, heart wrenching, inspiring, the ones that make us feel less alone because we recognize ourselves in them.
The stories we selected for our special summer CNF mini-issue tackle these themes masterfully. The narrator of each is haunted by a sacrifice. In “A Thousand More,” Cheryl Smart shares a heartbreaking story of a difficult decision regarding a family pet. In “Buttercream Cake,” Ani Tascian tells of a dying father’s birthday party, seen through his daughter’s eyes. In “The Next 32 Years,” Steven Coughlin imagines the future of a seasoned mill worker, foreseeing a life challenged by the drudgery of routine and harsh conditions. And in Sue Granzella’s “Breakfast at IHOP,” a woman dines with her husband after a frightening procedure, leading her to reflect on the status of her marriage.
We can take comfort in our pain, knowing nobody is immune to suffering. In that way we will never suffer alone.
Erica Moody, CNF Editor
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Cheryl Smart||A Thousand More||CNF|
|Ani Tascian||Buttercream Cake||CNF|
||The Next 32 Years||CNF|
|Sue Granzella||Breakfast at IHOP||CNF|