Raised by her distinguished and adoring father, she is considered a natural scholar and athlete. She delights in presenting her father with excellent grade reports and in delivering the news of having set new school competitive swim records.
Although also gifted in the arts, this dark-eyed, laughing, engaging child will soon become another high school dropout statistic.
Confused and pregnant at sixteen, she is desperate. Her throat wrenches as she tells her father on Christmas Day in 1966.
The man who has given her the world says nothing. She believes his silence will kill her.
“Papa?” she whispers. She needs to see his eyes. Forever burned into her mind would be this moment. Slowly he turns toward her as though coming from some far-off misted land.
His eyes. In them she sees love instead of anger, acceptance instead of accusation. More than anything there is concern for her and the new life inside her.
It will be many years before she dares to recall this memory and the realization that there is no mention of himself or the shame the family honor would now certainly bear.
June 27, 1995 Crystal Lake, Florida USA