Questions continue to haunt me
The journey that began one year ago will come to an end in just a few days leaving me filled with a range of emotions. Once I discovered the box of letters and learned the secrets that they held, I realized my life had taken a detour. As I read, researched and struggled trying to process the story of a crime my parents had kept hidden from me, I felt compelled to write. They saved letters, newspaper clippings, cards and photos. The person opening that box would see their story unfold. This past January, that person was me. The letters began in November of 1955, ending 6 months later, in May of 1956. They had been kept out of sight for 45 years, although I doubt, they were ever out of mind.
I have said this journey is about to come to an end because everything I have been through this past year will soon be revealed. And yet, a new journey for me will commence as this story takes flight. It would be a lie to say my life has not already been changed by these events. The crime(s) discussed in my dad’s words as well as, the half dozen newspaper articles will shock those who knew him. They certainly shocked me. However, I realized I could not tell the whole story without revealing a part of my past. So I have laid my soul bare.
There are so many questions running through my head right now. How will this book be received? How will I respond to praise and/or condemnation? Although the first two professional reviews were very positive, I won’t let myself believe that will always be the case. I have been in the art world for many years and I have learned everyone has an opinion and most are happy to share. There could not be a better example of that than what is and has been going on politically in our country. But I also know, it is just an opinion. I am proud of this book as well as, aware it might not appeal to everyone.
The questions continue to haunt me as I wonder if I have shared enough or did I share too much? Do I come across as a victim? That was never my intent nor will I not let myself be a victim. I also will not second guess the choices I have made. I know what is in my heart. This book was not just something I was meant to do, but something I had to do.
In closing, I’d like to share an excerpt from Kept in the Dark’s prologue.
“May I ask that, before you turn the page and begin this journey with me, you keep an open mind and heart? This is a true story. The people involved are real, as is the heartache, pain, struggles, frustrations, and love. It is easy to see the crime and immediately judge. By no means am I suggesting that you shouldn’t feel this emotion. I am not condoning the actions committed. You may wish me to condemn, but this tale is not just black or white. Please know that I am not withholding facts or trying to cover up anything. I want you, the reader, to know everything that I know.”
J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.
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