I was left with a fourteen year old daughter to raise alone. Luckily my mother’s older sister moved in with us for the next three years and helped care for my daughter and myself. I was able to go to work during the day, and my aunt took a part time job at night. I also provided her with free room and board; she refused any other compensation. Little Tracy’s passage from girlhood to teenager was eased under my aunt’s skillful domesticity; she had raised four children of her own. She left only when she was assured that my daughter and myself could function without her assistance.
I found a better job with another company. With a computer and modem I was able to do some work at home and insure that Tracy was off to school each morning. We lived quite well on my salary, but a shadow still enveloped us. I would look at Tracy, as she slowly grew into a near image of her mother, and a sharp pain would arc through my body.
Strangely I had no interest in women or sex during these years, possibly a result of the psychological residue of our tragedy. Whenever my daughter looked at me with her green eyes and pretty smile, I was filled with enough love to need nothing else. I always saw her as my little girl, even after she strode across the high school stage to receive her diploma with honors. Tracy chose to attend a local college and remained at home with me.