I was 15, the typical age for a teenage girl to start feeling the pain of growing into a young woman with many questions about the world changing as she has known it. It is also the time when mother/daughter relationships will experience strain, if they haven’t already.

My mother/daughter relationship left a lot to be desired. There was always a lot of yelling and not much love or tenderness. I had many years to learn how to cope with what I knew was not a normal relationship, but I had always wanted more than was available.

I received a call from the Catholic priest in the early spring and he asked if I would come into town to talk with him. When I got to the church, we lived 3 ½ miles from town and it took about an hour-and-a-half to walk there.

I was so surprised when he told me someone from the church had paid my way to attend a camp for girls at Occidental, near Santa Rosa and about 90 minutes south of where we lived in Mendocino.