A playground was spooky at night. The ponies on springs looked baleful & clown-like, the spiral slide menacing as it loomed like a large serpent.
When I woke to 5 faces peering over me, I wondered if they were there to plead my case before the judge whose authority I did not recognize.
The revelations in the yard hadn’t just told me I had lost my mother, but that the mother I’d loved & admired hadn’t existed at all.
What was unconditional love, but the ability to love someone for all their flaws & sins, committed against everyone but themselves?
My disappointment overshadowed the love I had for them, & it ate at me—not the disappointment itself, but allowing that disappointment to be so great.
Mother spoke differently, saying things like “Bless you,” rather than “Thank you,” but Mormons never went around saying, “Jesus loves you.”
Out of love for me, my family had been brought together, & out of love for my mother, the Church had come for me.
When I heard David thank God, I saw it not only as an act of gratitude, but an act of humility. My mother had brought God into the house, made Him comfortable there.
The happiest days of my life were those that led up to the Christmas of nineteen-hundred-&-ninety-nine.