The missionaries looked at Mother’s wedding ring with relief, but the man they thought her husband, I knew as her lover and my stepfather.
His love for Mother was stronger than a double platinum band; rather than winning her once till death, he won her, perhaps back, every day.
A marriage to David would solidify his place in our family, and yet, I knew he was bound by ways I could not explain.
I had always found it ironic that David’s flowers would live in his garden, only to be plucked and left to die on my father’s grave.
I loved my stepfather more than I’d ever loved my father, for I’d have Patrick die all over again, just to have David near.
David’s love for my mother was what I’d believed had kept him close, when all along it had been his love for me.
When my sister came, so did he, but years would go, before I would know, he’d been there all along, all for me.
David overshadowed my father, who had been nothing but a shadow to me when I had known, and barely remembered, him.
Strange, that a dead man was the sole provider of our little family—a nameless grand-uncle who rained his blessings on us from Heaven.
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.