Twas a time when the light of Christ within me burned bright, only to burn out like an aging star (both worldly and otherworldly).
Knowing what I know now, I could never go back to that summer, for the future taints the past.
My Kaitlyn is proof that although beauty cannot be built from ashes, it can rise up out of them.
Having a daughter was a life of ice cream socials, tea parties, & fancy shoes—the sweetest thing I’ve ever known.
My canopy bed was like a little girl’s fancy birthday cake—the cradle of a princess, and, unbeknownst to me then, my prince lived among us.
I’d grown up near the Amish, in a Catholic home, & now Mormonism had touched our lives—all because I had answered a knock on the door.
I can still remember the smell of hay after the rain, of shoo-fly pie cooling on a windowsill, the sight of white bonnets dotting the green.
The four of us had lived a wonderful life—a life we’d almost forgotten, a life before the Church.
I had always felt there was more to life, & it wouldn’t be until much later I realized there wasn’t any more—that I’d had it all once.
I became an archaeologist—blowing the dust from the bones of what knitted our family so tightly together.
Steak & ice cream every day—I had been as Pollyanna, until the family tree branch rotted out, caving beneath me.
Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley: An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.