The Autobiography Project

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Roni Kosek DiSipio's Autobiography (submitted 5/9/06)

It was the early 1940's--World War II was gripping the nation's attention. An earlier World War had wounded my father physically and emotionally. I was an infant when the constant onslaught of his behavior became too much for my mother and they separated.

At school, I became painfully aware that we were not the "norm"--not a two-parent family. I felt this difference deeply and quietly. Quietly, because I told no one how I felt; deeply, because it became a lonely ache in my heart.

One year, a new Sister came to teach. She was young and friendly. After school, I would help clean the blackboard and tidy the classroom, and we would talk. Eventually, I told her about my father. I'm not sure why I told her. Perhaps I was especially vulnerable because my mother had tuberculosis and was in a sanatorium. As I finished talking, she said to me, "Roni, you have the most wonderful Father--you have God the Father. He is your heavenly Father, He will never leave you. Talk to Him, he will help you." I'm not sure if what she said made an impact--I was a kid and I wanted my here on earth father. But her words had made an impression. I no longer "prayed" but would talk to Him as you would to a father. Slowly, I found an inner strength to help me each day. This inner strength grew and stayed with me as my life unfolded in a wonderful journey. Decades later one step in this journey would teach me a lesson about my earthly father. But how that happened is a story for another time.

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