In an attempt to shield her from further trauma, eight-year -old Velma was expected to stay home with her younger sisters. She could not attend her mother’s burial. The cemetery was not too fa r from their home so she walked, unseen, to the site and climbed a tree at the perimeter. From that vantage point, she watched the process play out. What did she think suspended there between heaven and earth as those soft little fingers held on to that rough bark. Being a less than perfect child, myself, I imagine she made so pretty tall promises to God.
In a candid and sometimes raw chronicling of her coming-of-age journey as her mother struggled with mental illness, Riggs intertwines scripture with her mother’s experiences and her own as both learned lessons while facing a variety of challenges. Her stories detail her relationships with her sisters, her mother’s steadfast faith in God as she faced multiple hospitalizations, her first love as they searched to find their place within a chaotic world, and her ultimate acceptance of her mother and all her beautiful imperfections as she valiantly struggled to attain mental wellness until the day she died.
Towards Home is a daughter’s story of her journey through childhood and womanhood as she and her family relied on their faith to support her mother’s struggles with mental illness.