She was young when she committed the crime, a crime that would scar me deeply and shape who I am today.

She was so young that I’m sure she didn’t realize the full breadth and consequences of her actions – no one had taught her any better, after all.

Guilt subconsciously crept in and flooded her mind, making her repress the memory and stow away the evidence so as not to have to face the condemnation from her soul.

For twenty-eight years, the crime went unpunished and unacknowledged.

Until she accidentally came face to face with that well-hidden proof.

She did a double-take.  She gasped in horror, as all of a sudden she remembered that she had indeed brought that travesty down upon my head.

So much made sense now – she finally understood why I would feel the way that I do – feelings that she had previously written off as overly dramatic and unfounded.

But she now knew that the burden of guilt lay solely on her shoulders.  And, being the woman of integrity that she is, she knew that she must confess.

She waited until we were alone, so that I would have the freedom to process my emotions.  She handed me the proof and looked into my eyes, imploring my forgiveness.

“I’m so sorry.  I really didn’t realize that it ever got this bad.”

I looked.

I shook my head and deeply sighed.

It hurt – most certainly.

I looked again – it was just as shocking the second time.

I closed my eyes and searched for the inner strength to do what I knew needed to be done – and, though the words clung to the roof of my mouth like chewing gum on the bottom of a food court table, I did it.  I granted her my forgiveness.

My brother, however, may not feel quite as merciful.


Sequel can be found here.

31 thoughts on “The Atrocity – A True Story.

  1. Oh Rachel, that bonnett, well there just are no words for it. But as I looked at the photo, nursery rhymes came flooding into my mind. You look as though you should be sitting on a tuffet eating curds and whey and JC in a corner eating Christmas pie. If you need a good family counselor so that y’all can begin the healing process, I know a few, I can send you their numbers.

  2. MUAH HA HA HAA deep breath HA HA HA HA snort followed by deep breath, another deep breath HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

  3. Wow. I married that guy. Wow wow wow.

    I love how his left sock has rips in it. Kinda like a run in pantyhose :)8

  4. Oh My goodness, I am sorry I know I shouldn’t laugh but I did. Poor JC, it may take longer for him to get over it. Although you are both cute. The outfits are a lot over the top.

    1. Thanks!! My Mom really did say those words, too. And gave me the picture, KNOWING I’d HAVE to blog about it!! She’s obviously a brave woman – on many fronts!

  5. Knowing your mother makes this post hilarious…knowing your father makes it even funnier! Where was he when your mother was dressing his son in smock and knee-high socks?? But the bonnet….no words….

  6. Not being born in the south, only having been here ten years, I find this hilarious!! The smocking!! The bonnet!! And the knee highs – on a boy!! I’m dying!! Is your brother going to pass that outfit down like the denim one on Noah the other day?? Lol!!

  7. I guess I should thank my mother since before your blog I had never heard of a smock, and bonnets were what Laura wore on the prairie. Ridiculously cute!

  8. I have to say you should be proud, even in that huge bonnet you still look adorable. I love your little shoes!

  9. You and JC must have a pretty good relationship for you to be posting that pic. Soooo sweet, though!!

  10. Love the bonnet! That is the largest bonnet that I think I have ever seen on a little girl… And this picture reminds me that I have a leather pair of lederhosen for Ellie to wear this fall. Or I can save them for her brother. When they were given to me I was told that red could be worn by either gender. We shall see :)

    P.S. Knowing JC in HS I never would have thought he had this outfit hiding in his closet…
    What will our children say about us?

  11. JC! Lederhosen…awesomeness. (that will most likely be blown up and framed at our next small group.

    Also, that bonnet is HUGE!!! (and you look just like Ali!)

  12. Lol! How can something so atrocious be adorable at the same time?! Ali and Noah will thank you when they are older for never putting them through that. :)

  13. Its almost like your mom wanted your brother to get beaten up. What did he ever do to her? My boys will thank me for never doing this to them when I show them this picture later. Thanks for the giggles.

  14. I must say that I don’t mind a small bonnet on an infant baby girl, but that ginormous thing is a bit much to say the least ;) But, JC’s outfit is far worse that what you had on!

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