Fio has an exaggerated sense of guilt, perhaps the natural consequence of being brought up Missouri Synod Lutheran.
For years she thought that when she was three years old, she had killed her great-grandmother by talking too much. And she has fretted for a decade about having signed the release for her father's brain operation, which didn't help much and may even have made matters worse. And now she wonders if the reason he finally died at age ninety-five was because she didn't visit him for almost two weeks--she had the flu.
And then there are the students she should have handled better, and her own children, all of whose problems she lays at her own feet.
Of course, all this guilt also implies a sense of power and control.
Yesterday, Husband couldn't find The Wall Street Journal when he came home from work. Fio realized that she must have thrown it away. In fact, the more she thought about it, she had a dim but growing memory of tossing it.
Today the newspaper carrier delivered two WSJs because he missed yesterday.
So much for power and control.