My Daughter and God

Selected for the Best American Essays, 2015

Four years ago, driving home from picking up our twelve-year-old daughter from summer camp, my wife reached into her purse for a tissue and lost control of the car. This occurred on a stretch of Interstate 10 between Houston and San Antonio, near the town of Gonzales. The accident occurred as many do: a moment of distraction, a small mistake, and suddenly everything is up for grabs. My wife and daughter were in the midst of a minor argument over my daughter’s need to blow her nose. During high-pollen season, she is a perennial sniffer, and the sound drives my wife crazy. Get a Kleenex, Leslie said, for God’s sake, and when Iris, out of laziness or exhaustion or the mild day-to-day defiance of all teenagers, refused to do so, my wife reached for her purse, inadvertently turning the wheel to the left.

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