My Journey to Hell and Back

How could I possibly forgive my son-in-law?

My Journey to Hell and Back

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How well do you know yourself? I was forty-four years old, a mother, grandmother, and “a good Catholic,” when I hired two criminals to take care of a problem. You may wonder how I could stoop so low. Perhaps we don’t really know ourselves until we are confronted with a major crisis.

My husband, Walter, and I were a typical middle-class American couple. We had dreams of financial security and comfort, and we worked hard to make our dreams come true.

God? He was on the fringes. We went to Sunday Mass and sent our children to parochial schools. Sometimes we had family evening prayers; when we had a special need, we said extra prayers. But after the need was met and forgotten, so was God. It was as if we kept him in a box, to bring out whenever occasion demanded.

The Nightmare Begins. This complacent life came to an abrupt end one warm October afternoon, when our oldest daughter disappeared. Her husband, Tim, insisted that she had run off with another man.

That was impossible. Not only was Mary Jo sensible and conscientious, she was devoted to…

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