History Lesson

History Lesson 1

Courtesy of Stephen Messer

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Courtesy of Stephen Messer

On September 20, 1961, my mother committed suicide in our naval housing unit in Sasebo, Japan. As a 6-year-old, I found her hanging on the back side of a bedroom door. Due to the trauma of finding her body and the silence that immediately barricaded both her life and her death from family discussions, I grew up not knowing who she was or why she did what she did. For decades—five to be exact—my mother was a shadowy, sometimes frightening and tragic figure whom I unsuccessfully