My mother had lost her virginity & heart to David; I would lose only one of these to him.
Mother saw emotional self-flagellation as a form of atonement for adultery, but she’d only denied David marriage, not sex.
Like David, the great king, he had taken a woman who had belonged to another, except that David, according to Mormon doctrine, had been barred from the celestial kingdom forever.
David Dalton, like that same David who had slain Goliath in his youth, had been responsible for my father’s death?
My intake of breath was acute, as if the sharpness in Mother’s words had floated upwards & entered me, cutting me up inside, so that I bled.
I prayed not for God’s forgiveness, but for my father’s, for wishing he hadn’t been mine. Had I been David’s, Mother would’ve loved me as a mother should, for I was the ball & Caitlin, the chain.
My disappointment overshadowed the love I had for them, & it ate at me—not the disappointment itself, but that I allowed my disappointment to be so great.
A CTR (or “Choose the Right”) ring in the Mormon Church was akin to the “True Love Waits” rings the Protestants wore. Both were centered on remaining pure before marriage & would no longer be worn after marriage, for it was assumed that as long as people got sex, even if it was only with one person their entire lives, they would be pacified.
I tossed my CTR ring away–the way a disenchanted ex-wife would her wedding ring. I was neither married in the Church nor to it; it was a purity ring–a promise to remain untouched before marriage, after which I could have as much procreative sex as I wanted.
The revelations in the yard hadn’t just told me I had lost my mother, but that the mother I loved & admired hadn’t existed at all.