We watched from the window. Tree limbs turned to statues of ice that held clumps of white, even the smallest branches held heavy clumps of snow. It looked surreal—my kind of world when I was a kid.
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Take the First Step
I picked up the pen and wrote a letter to Ivan. When I finished, I prayed the truth would be revealed and my family would remain safe. I mailed it. Then I waited.
The truth gave me an aching-sense of relief and confidence to take the next step forward.
He entered my room in a cloak of silence. He greeted me masked in kindness. Fully clothed in a disguise of safety, Ivan looked down at me.
As I stand on the banks of the river and pause, it reminds me of when I found my hidden past. Fear caused me to doubt that what lie ahead would enrich my life—a life freed from debilitating fear and anxiety. I just wasn’t sure I could handle what I was afraid of.
I looked over Dr. Barone’s chair at the book case against the wall. I studied each book, their color, size, shape and admired the order they were placed in. It reminded me of the bookshelf in Idaho. Then I saw it--in my mind's eye.
Talking about the times Mom was a way from home and in the hospital, evoked sadness, disappointment, and even fear, I couldn't explain. My insides stirred uncomfortably as if I wondered into deep waters. The heaviness of dread returned. Why did I re-visit this portion of my life?
I woke that morning from a nightmare. Details of the nightmare followed me down the hall and into the dining room. One more thread in the knot of unresolved thoughts.
Autumn arrived with no answers. The cycle of dread hijacked my thoughts and the lingering concern for Hannah’s odd behavior while visiting relatives haunted me. The demands of being a stay-at-home mom to three children, under the age of four, fell to the forefront. But unresolved issues from the past continued to haunt me.
I was convinced my daughter Hannah was mistreated while in the care of Ivan, one of my relatives. However, I had no proof.
Desperate to know the truth, I retraced all the times we visited the suspected perpetrator and during those visits how often did he have access to my children? Was he at home at the time his wife babysat?
It happened in December 1986, as I drove home. My thoughts broke free from a knot of vague details. The truth appeared as clear and straight as the road ahead of me. I clung to the steering wheel because it was the only part of life I had control of at that moment.