“Yes, in spite of the surreal quality of the interaction, the monologue in the garden was an answer to prayer—to both my long-term prayer that my father would take responsibility for his sin, and to this morning’s prayer for light in the midst of their darkness. But we saw the abuse very differently. In his view, he was the victim rather than the perpetrator, ready to kill himself because he thought I wanted revenge. But I didn’t need retribution—not anymore. I wanted an honest, warm relationship with a father.” P. 20
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“You wouldn’t even be here if I wasn’t oversexed. Mother told me this morning that I forced myself on her the night you were conceived. She says I raped her.” He glared at me.
I couldn’t believe it. Not that I couldn’t believe he’d raped my mother—that I believed. And I wasn’t even surprised my mother had only now, forty-six years later, confronted him. Instead, his trampling of the first rule of dysfunctional families—“Don’t talk about the real issues, in this case, rape and sexual abuse”—is what left my jaw hanging.”
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“Are you still nursing a forty-year hatred?” He wagged a crooked finger at me, his black eyes bright and hard behind his glasses. His unexpected rage felt like a ten-foot tsunami. I planted myself against the onslaught.
Leaning on her hoe, my mother watched us, silent. Behind me, Jerry grasped my shoulder. A few feet away, a cardinal called to its mate in the golden delicious apple tree. As I glanced at the wet black soil surrounding the tomatoes, trying to compose a response, I remembered a day before the time I started hating my father, a day more than 40 years ago.” Pg 8
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