Green Haven, Florida, where it got as hot as hell, but yet gardenias bloomed, tempting men with her sweet perfume.
Twas in our town where my father had died under mysterious circumstances that would bar him from burial in the Catholic cemetery.
Father’s memory had haunted us, for my mother had kept his spirit alive through rituals that seemed bizarre to me now.
Because of his grave, my mother stayed, for who else would visit a man who had died shortly after moving here?
I hated Sundays, for I was forced to live in remembrance of my earthly father. His limestone headstone had become our golden calf.
Why couldn’t my father have died in PA, rather than the Bible belt–a belt that whipped me for being different?
My father’s image grew vague in my mind, until I could no longer remember him as a whole, but in parts– the sum of which did not add up.
I wondered if my father had been a dream, but whenever I saw his tombstone, I knew it was a part of a nightmare from which I’d never awaken.
My eyelashes were like cobwebs, & when I woke, I shook off the dust of dreams, only to find my past had followed me.
We didn’t pass the time, it passed us, for though we grew older, we stayed the same. Timeless, changeless beings we were…like God.
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.