15. How do Jim's uncles each play the role of father-figure? Do they make up for his father's absence? Should Jim's mother have remarried when she had the chance in order to give Jim a "real" father?
I think the uncles provided excellent role models for Jim. They showed Jim love, tried to expose him to things in the world, provided guidance, and allowed him to be himself.
Although the uncles provided him with good father figures, I think there was still a hole in Jim's life caused by his father's death.
I think that remarriage when there are children involved is very tricky. Some work well and others are disasters. I think Jim's mother did the right thing by listening to her heart and not remarrying in spite of the advice of her brothers.
16. Jim's mother turned down the marriage proposal because she believed she had already met and married her one eternal love. Do you believe, as she does, in the idea of eternal love?
I think that one can retain the love one has had of a departed one and still love again.
My son's girlfriend has had a difficult time adjusting to the loss of my son last August. She loved him dearly and has been a comfort to our family. She has shown her love for him in many ways (such as until his marker was placed, she continually put up personalized wooden crosses at the cemtery even though the cemetery kept taking them down. I hope that she is able to find someone else as she is only 28. My daughter said that even at the hospital when Brendan died, I encouraged her not to let their love prevent her from finding someone else after she said that she'd never find someone else as good as he was.
17. In the section on "Christmas Eve" Jim's uncles take him outside to see something special, the change that came to their town that night. "When he looked up at the stars, they did not seem as bright" (p. 149). Have you ever noticed how lights of a city "hide" the stars?
When trying to look for constellations and eclipses, the lights of the city do make it difficult to see the natural lights.
I liked the way the uncles turned the historical event into something special and made it more memorable for Jim.