New York, NY—In this special edition of New York magazine, Lisa Dusenbery explores how a woman who lived her entire life in the fear of dying, from childhood through adulthood, eventually became the author of a guide to living your life with peace and joy.
“I’m an older woman who was living in the shadow of my father who would sometimes kill himself because he didn’t want to be around me anymore,” she writes.
“That’s how I knew what I wanted to do.”
Dusinbery has spent years living her life without fear.
She was raised by a single mother in suburban Connecticut, which was one of the most conservative states in the nation, and her mother was a staunch opponent of abortion rights.
“She was fiercely anti-abortion, but not anti-women,” she says.
“Her belief was that you could’t kill an unborn baby, and she’d been very careful with the baby, because she didn’t think she’d have a baby.”
Duxford, Connecticut, has a population of about 10,000.
Its residents are mostly white, with about half black and one in five Latino.
Dusensberys mother was raised Catholic and lived in the small town of Elmira, where she met her husband, a truck driver, while she was studying at Connecticut College.
“He told me that if I was really good, he’d get me a job and start a family,” Dusina writes.
Dux-ford has a strong Catholic tradition, and when Dusanys mother died in 1982, she was forced to flee to the state with her daughter and grandchildren.
“After my father died, I was the last of the kids to go to church,” she recalls.
“And I was in a small Catholic parish and I didn’t feel like it was my place to say anything to my mom.”
Duz-ford is a Catholic priest, a devout Christian, and the author and spiritual guide to a woman whose entire life was defined by the fear and the pain of her birth.
Duz, who is now 62 and married, was also raised in a deeply conservative home.
“When I was about three or four, my mom asked me what was wrong with me,” she explains.
“If I didn ‘t understand, then she’d tell me to just forget it and live a normal life.
That’s the way she always told me.
And I always thought, ‘Well, she never said that.'”
Duz’s father, a Catholic bishop, was a fierce opponent of gay marriage and was an avid hunter.
“My father hated hunting,” Duz writes.
He was an outspoken opponent of birth control and was known to use his position to bully his neighbors.
“His job was to keep his neighbors at bay, which meant, he was always in the woods with his shotgun.
He’d walk around and look for bears and deer and squirrels and wild boars.”
Dzens father also had a “hobbit problem,” which involved “a lot of running, jumping, and climbing,” and he hated that.
He became obsessed with animals and started playing with animals that he saw as toys.
“In my mind, my father’s life was a lot like my own,” she notes.
“It was like he was a kind of god to me.”
Dussens father was the leader of her church and she became his confidant and surrogate mother.
“Growing up in Connecticut, we always had an image of Connecticut as the Wild West,” she wrote.
“We lived on the Upper West Side and we would spend all our time in our own little town of Deerfield.
Our kids would grow up to be cowboys.
But there was always a reason for us to be there.”
When Duz was six years old, she learned to drive a white pickup truck, which helped her navigate her suburban life.
“As I got older, I realized that I had to be careful not to become the kind of person who would run into the woods and jump into the bushes,” she remembers.
“There was a time when I had a real problem with that.”
In 1986, Duzs father died in an automobile accident at the age of 56, and Dusans mother was left without a husband.
“One of my oldest and most devout friends, who had spent so much of her life raising me and my siblings, was devastated,” Dzina writes in her memoir.
“But she found a way to make it work, and I think that helped me to forgive her father.
When she was 20, Dzins father died unexpectedly, and, after a very painful, emotional funeral, Dusins mother and Dzans mother moved into a rented house in Elmira. Dz, who”
What I did know was that he was an incredibly compassionate man who believed in the power of love.”
When she was 20, Dzins father died unexpectedly, and, after a very painful, emotional funeral, Dusins mother and Dzans mother moved into a rented house in Elmira. Dz, who