Christmas had come and gone, and the New Millennium had begun. At Maxwell Manor, burgundies, navy blues, and hunter greens had been replaced with shades of cream, ecru, and chartreuse. Modern art had been replaced with several of Greg Olsen’s paintings, and the place began to more resemble a Mormon temple than a museum.
“Though the husband is the head of the home,” the elders of the Church had often said, “the wife is the heart.”
It was my house, too, even though I was old enough to move out , but Mother was changing everything. The house on Harrington Court was mine now, but I would always have a place at Maxwell Manor—a room in one of David’s many mansions, and the one room, besides David’s study, that Mother would not touch. Did that make it a shrine unto myself?
I would keep the house at Harrington Court as one would a museum, for Mother had changed nothing in it since the Mormons had come, flooding our house with their holy water and setting fire to our lives as we had known them.
He told me that I’d become as she once was, even as he believed who Mother was now, she would always be. She would never change her mind about the Church, for the Church had changed her.
Mother had put off the natural woman to put on the spiritual, for in her eyes, the two entities could not coexist, for one would always rule over the other. It was perhaps the first time in my life I acknowledged with defeat that a Force greater than the influences of those who loved her, led my mother now. As she drew closer to God, she withdrew from us, even as David and I grew closer than ever. A part of me still feared losing him, if he completely lost Mother.
David thanked God for my will that I would never allow the Church to change me. I had never heard David thank God for anything before, save that night in the hospital, and I wondered, if, in his own way, he was changing, too.
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.