How we cite our quotes:
What Dicey was used to, she realized, was things being simple, like a song. You sang the words and the melody straight through. That was the way she had brought her family down here to Crisfield, singing straight through. (1.165)
Now that's perseverance. People are always talking about how music and song brings people solace in tough times, and that definitely seems true for Dicey and co. Plus, singing is also what's kept them together so far.
Gram probably knew something about carrying sorrow around. However she acted, Dicey knew Gram had cared about her three children who all left her and never came back. (1.166)
The thought of an old woman carrying sorrow like she carried her disappeared children is pretty heartbreaking, but Gram’s obviously the source of Dicey’s toughness genes.
Gram rewarded her with a sudden smile and spoke briskly. "You’re not the only one responsible, girl. You’ve been responsible a long time and done a good job. Take a rest now." (1.206)
Dicey doesn’t know how to take a rest, except maybe when she works on the boat. You can just see her grown up and bringing her laptop to the beach. We joke, but this scene has some sadness to it, too. Dicey's been bearing so much responsibility for so long, she's genuinely afraid of what might happen if she lets go. What if something bad goes down with James or Maybeth or Sammy?