Excerpt – Daddy’s Big Girl, Chapter One
The day had started off like any other typical day. As she drove, VJ found herself releasing the
day’s woes and, instead, wondering what was so important that she had to stop by her
parent’s house before going home. She thought to herself, Mom and Dad are finally going to
sell the house. As she exited her car, nothing seemed any different. Once inside the house the
atmosphere was welcoming, with a little hint of understated tension. It hadn’t always been
like that. She recalled, there was a time when the Basset home was always warm and inviting.
If asked, VJ could tell you exactly when it changed. She entered the house oblivious to the
possibility that this visit could be any different than any of her other visits home. Why would
At 5’10”, VJ’s long strides led her quickly through the foyer into the living room, where she
found her parents. Her mother comfortably sat on the couch; her father stood as she stepped
into the room, a tight hug and a kiss on her cheek from her daddy, and a quick kiss from her
on her mother’s cheek.
Quickly examining their faces, VJ asked, “Why so serious? What’s going on?
“What do you mean you’re getting a divorce? Daddy, that’s crazy! Turning to look at her
mother, “What is he talking about?”
“Vada Jade, just sit back down and let your father finish talking.
“VJ, baby, your mom and I haven’t been happy for some time now, so I’m moving out.
Actually, I moved out last week. I wanted to be the one to tell you, but your mom thought we
should talk to you together. I know it’s difficult for you to understand right now, but I assure
you, I love both you and your mother. So, it’s not about that. It’s just that we, your mom and
I, have grown in different directions over the years and it’s best that we go on with our
VJ had jumped to her feet when her father began speaking. Sobbing, she turned to her
mother. “What is he talking about? This is just crazy; it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever
heard. Why in the world would y’all be getting divorced after 40 years? Dad, is there another
“Vada, I’m not here to discuss details with you. It doesn’t matter.”
Unable to contain herself, she raised her voice. “What do you mean it doesn’t matter? It does
matter. Everything matters right now…”
Her mother interrupted her, “Vada Jade, you need to not only lower your voice, but change
your tone, as well. You’re still talking to your father.”
Her mom and dad sat quietly, gazing at her. They knew how she’d react and just as they had
expected, their 33-year-old daughter, the attorney, ranted, raved, and pouted. Her mother
appeared totally detached from the scene. After all, she had known for some time that her
husband was going to leave, she just didn’t know when. Years of dealing with emotional,
sometimes overly emotional, patients prepared her for Vada’s emotional tirade, and then
there was the common knowledge that Vada always reacted dramatically when it came to her
The look on Vada’s father’s face said more than his words could ever say. He knew he was in
the wrong. When he turned 50 years old he began to date one particular woman exclusively;
and at 58 years old he had decided to start a new family and a new life. He knew Vada would
never understand and he worried that she’d never forgive him, as well. There was no doubt
that he was more concerned with what his daughter might think than he was with what his
wife thought. He had rationalized, life takes turns, and this is just one of those turns. We’ll
all recover from this day. My wife will continue with her career as a psychologist, and she’ll
certainly keep herself occupied with her social activities. My daughter will successfully
advance in her legal career and soon have a husband and a family of her own.