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A Shocking Discovery

A Shocking Discovery


Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /

One evening in early summer around dinnertime, I sat on my knees on a dining room chair and played on the kitchen table with my Aunt Cindy’s childhood doll, Baby. A radio beside me was tuned to the news and Mother listened to the weather forecast while stirring a pan of sizzling hamburger and onions seasoned with garlic salt and pepper. The delicious aroma filled the house.

Robin entered the kitchen. “Where’d you get that?” she said, marching over to me.

I danced the doll across the table. “Somewhere.”

She grabbed for it. “You got it from my room. Can I have it?”

I whisked Baby away and clutched her against my chest.

“No, I’m playing with her.”

“But you took her from my room and you’re supposed to ask. Let me have her back,” she said.

Mother came over to the table, the stainless steel spatula glistening with grease in one hand. “Girls, that’s enough of that.” She turned up the radio’s volume. “I’m trying to hear the news.”

The local radio station featured weather forecasts, sports updates, traffic reports, and regional information. Just then, the dramatic voice of a reporter came over the airwaves. “During this evening’s rush hour commute, Keith McKern of Sacramento was involved in a near fatal, head-on, collision.”

The spatula slipped from Mother’s fingers and fell to the floor. She gasped and shuddered. “Oh, no!” The color drained from her face. “Girls, that’s your father!”

We hadn’t seen or heard from him in four years, not since he left when I was a few months old, and Mother had never mentioned his name or her marriage to him. “My father?” I said in shock and confusion. “Who’s my father?”

“Shh! Pam, not now.”

I hadn’t even known that I had a father. “Mommy, who’s my father?”

“I said be quiet.”

The news reporter continued speaking. “He was rushed by ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center and is in critical condition.”

From JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness pages 28-29

To learn more about JoyRide, visit where you will find excerpts and my interview on Focus Today. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this excerpt and to visit my blog.

Copyright © 2013 by Pamela Koefoed. All rights reserved.

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