A Message from Purgatory

I set out on the morning of October 10th to get ready for a conference I was to emcee in Miami. Specifically, I sought to get my ragged fingernails tended and mended. I had heard about a new nail place from a friend and drove there first. They were closed. So, I headed across town to my usual spot.

I settled into the kneading joy of the pedicure chair, and the owner (whom I have known for years) introduced the ladies sitting next to me. “What a group we have this morning,” she said, “a powerful trio.”

One of my pampered cohorts explained how she mends broken victims of sexual abuse in a medical care center she established. With little community support and zero funds from the state and local government, she is an outspoken angel for voiceless victims.

The third of our trio is filming a movie at a lovely antebellum mansion in our area. She is also a screenplay writer.  Her movie, based on a novel, is a controversial look at mixed-race relationships in the 1800s.

We chatted and the filmmaker suggested that my father’s story, which is the basis of my memoir, The Killing Closet is important and that getting it picked up by a literary agent is all about timing. She explained that the author who wrote the book upon which her film is based penned it more than a decade ago and was self-published. The story (at the time of its original publication) was not popular. Yet, fast forward a dozen years and here it is being made into a movie that will be played at major film festivals around the world.

As an abuse victim who has authored a transgender story that the literary world seems hesitant to hear, meeting a victim advocate and a brave filmmaker at my early morning nail appointment seems rather incredible. Especially, in my small Southern city.

submersion-in-lethe.jpgLarge-e1571944500689However, as I sat there, it dawned on me that it was no coincidence. The same spirit that saved me from despair as a child, intervened that day. Or perhaps, it was my father Jo sending a missive from purgatory (where I like to believe she is reviewing her life and my book options).

October 10, 2019 would have been my adoptive father’s 84th birthday. Thank you, Dad, for reminding me that our story matters.

Blessings to be who you are and always be right on-time,
V.L.

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