As I was an outsider in our town, so was Caitlin in our family. A single bloodline was all that tethered her to us.
I was the white chocolate shell of my mother, my sister Caitlin, the creamy center.
My sister, the only one who ever really knew me, stays away, and sometimes I believe it is because she knew me.
My sister twinkled like the little star she was, my daughter dancing in her light– a moonlight sonata.
I saw loving my daughter as atonement for not loving my sister when she needed me. I’d left God out of the equation.
Like Scarlett O’Hara, I had a child’s understanding, for I thought that saying “I’m sorry” would make it all go away.
Sometimes, a memory is the only way I can have someone back for a moment; a dream, for hours.
My sister prayed to our dead father, even as she prayed to the Saints, or idols, as our stepfather called them.
She clung to her father, whose memory was like dandelion seeds blowing in the wind.
The fragrance of peach blossoms floats through the French doors, like the spirit of one who died at the height of her loveliness.
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.