The Memory Keepers Daughter
Almost everybody has done something that they have regretted later on in life. David Henry, a character in The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards, shows that sometimes the past can be too heavy of a burden to carry. Damaging not only ourselves but also the people around us. David grew up in West Virginia with parents who worked hard but struggled to put food on the table and a sister with Down syndrome. When his sister died his parents were so overwhelmed that they never got over it. They rarely left the house and they withdrew mentally and physically. David recognized this and never wanted to feel that pain again. He would do anything to never feel that pain. Years later David’s traveling on the e icy roads taking his wife to the office to deliver her baby and hitting every red light on the way there. “This baby won’t wait, (13)”, Norah told husband, David. Everything went as good as could be expected, she gave birth to Paul a healthy little baby. Relieved it’s over David waits on the afterbirth. Only it’s not the afterbirth coming but another baby. A girl. A girl with Down syndrome. Knowing that it destroyed his parents David made an impossible decision. He tells the nurse to take the baby to a home for kids with her condition. “I’m trying to spare us all a terrible grief. (19)” thinking that the news would devastate his wife and he would have to relive the pain again he tells his wife the baby died during child birth.
Now he’s got a huge secret. One that could tear apart his family and everything else he has worked so hard to achieve. Feeling the weight of guilt he distances himself. He locks up and Withdraws, Afraid to enjoy the precious moments given to him. Terrified, his past will return. Fearing every moment the secret will burst free. And that’s exactly what ruins everything. “A barrier as brittle and fragile as ice forming. It would grow and strengthen. (88)” Was formed between David...
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