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does not feel she is through raising us yet.
We still live in the same house.  It has happy memories for 
all of us, even for Mary.  My father walks in smiling after 
work.  He lives a little more now, but he looks older.  It's 
hard to realize he's only forty-five.  He walks in, gives my 
sister his usual kiss and then an extended hug.  They look 
up guiltily, remembering the bad times after Mary's death.  
My quick growing up, my learning that all families are not 
like mine.
It took one second for me to learn that just because there are 
good families in the world doesn't mean they are all good.  It 
has taken me almost three years to realize that just because 
there are bad families in the world does not mean they are 
all bad.
I realize now that the anger, the thoughts that I had 
whenever I saw my sister and father together after I found 
out about Mary had a lot to do with my guilt about not 
seeing the signs with Mary, and there were signs.  I know 
now it was not my family’s relationships that were tainted, 
it was my vision of them.  Tainted by a vision of Mary.
Hopefully in life we all heal, and now when I sneak out of 
my room at night to watch my father and my sister and her 
husband laughing and joking it is not to catch them in some 
wrong act.  Not to try make up for not seeing the evil in 
Mary's father.  It is simply to reassure myself that since there 
is one family where the father can bring up his kids without 
a wife, yet with love and tenderness that has no taint of evil 
in it.  Then there must be others.
I write this, in the hope that it shows others quickly what it 
took me so much time and pain to learn, and to reassure 
you.  You are not alone.

Copyright Jackie Bulner 1999    

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A Vision of Mary

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Jackie Bulner
Melbourne, Victoria

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