January 16, 1970 She is the size of a peanut. She doesn’t know who mommy and daddy is, but feels love.
January 16, 1971 Life is different here, but it’s soft and warm in the blankets. Warm milk is wonderful.
January 16, 1976 Daddy is officially her favorite person. She plans to marry him when she gets older. She has a sister now. Since she just eats, poops and sleeps, she’s no competition. She doesn’t watch boxing and eat popcorn with Daddy.
January 16, 1979 She doesn’t want to move to Kentucky from Michigan and go to a new school, but she puts on “brave-face” for Daddy. Her new teacher, Mrs. Jackson, used to be Daddy’s teacher. Daddy visits school often and they have lunch together.
January 16, 1981 Daddy treats her different. She’s not allowed to wear t-shirts and panties any more. She has to wear real pajama bottoms. She’s not allowed to climb trees or play football with her cousins. Daddy doesn’t say why, and she knows better than to ask. Daddy always says, “Because I said so.”
January 16, 1983 She loves Robert Davis, and will probably marry him, instead of Daddy. Daddy doesn’t like Robert and says that “he doesn’t have good sense.” Daddy says that she should marry a man that doesn’t have hands that look like his. Daddy’s hands are hard and rough. Daddy says that men with those hands “don’t make much money”.
January 16, 1985 Daddy died today, in spite of her prayers. He said to take care of little sister. She has “brave-face” and doesn’t cry. She tells God that she hates him.
January 16, 1986 Another town and a new school. “Brave-face” is achieved by smoking cigarettes, wearing ripped jeans and a lot of black. While Mom goes to school and works, she takes care of little sister and goes out on dates.
January 16, 1987 She works and goes to school. She still has “brave-face” because she smokes pot and has sex. Cocaine is wonderful, she plans to marry it.
January 16, 1989 She has a baby now. Baby is healthy in spite of “brave-face”, because she struck a conditional truce with God. If He helped take care of baby, she wouldn’t be aborted.
January 16, 1990 Sperm-donor wants to get married. She knows it will eventually end in divorce, but puts on “brave-face”. She works two jobs and takes classes at community college.
January 16, 1992 Sperm-donor spends most of his time in jail or prison. He hits her when he’s at home. She keeps “brave-face” with work, school, drugs and alcohol.
January 16, 1993 Sperm-donor burned all of her clothes and textbooks in the front yard. She hates him now and tries to kill him. God intervened and saved him. She leaves sperm-donor for last time. She and baby move in with Mom. Mom takes care of baby while she’s in rehab.
January 16, 1994 She’s a soldier now, official training in “brave-face”.
January 16, 1995 She’s overseas and misses baby. “Brave-face” is harder without drugs, but she still has alcohol and sex.
January 16, 1998 Army life is over and she’s getting college-educated now. Baby is her best friend.
January 16, 2002 “Brave-face” is maintained with work, alcohol and sex. Baby is thriving; God is keeping His end of the bargain.
January 16, 2008 She’s a married woman again. God goes above and beyond and blesses her with a soul-mate. He loves her and his hands don’t look like Daddy’s. She and God had a long talk; she looks back and sees all that He has saved her from. She forgives Him and asks for forgiveness. “Brave-face” is now maintained through prayer and faith.
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