Impressions Ray experienced of his family while growing up in Waukegan, Illinois, called Green Town, Illinois in many of his stories, finds a place in this story of an outerspace family, where fireflies light your way in the dark, and beds sing you to sleep at night, and father travels far, far from home.
The struggle for cohesion of the family is apparent in the first few words to roll onto the printed page …she (mother) stood in her bedroom door looking out at me as I passed in the silent hall. „You will help me keep him here this time, won't you?“ she asked.
Keep who? Why, Father! Husband! The one they await for his return from the deeps of seemingly endless distances. The one they want to keep on Earth.
Ray weaves again his magic. And the pathos that he evokes with each passing scene, brings us into a bonding with this family. We delight in the discoveries of the motes and dust of far exotic worlds the boy discovers in his father's clothing, there, now seen plainly in the microscope. We are troubled, too, while, as the father explains the need to be out in far space, he explains the equal desire to be at home, with them. There is this nearly maddening conflict of yearnings. Again, Ray discusses loss, and separation, and the reality of horrible hurt. In the last lines of the story, we are not prepared to look away from what we find, in truth, so vital in life.
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