York psychologist Julie Swope was at her brother Tom’s funeral in 2006 when she first thought about how she might be remembered.
“All a person gets said about them is that little paragraph,” Swope, 64, said. “I thought about my own obituary, what I would like to say.”
Her musing turned into a powerful memoir of more than 400 pages, beginning with her and her seven siblings’ arrival at the St. Francis Orphanage, Schuylkill County, in 1949. From the orphanage to her adoption by a wealthy family and her relationships as an adult, Swope details a past riddled with physical, verbal, sexual and emotional abuse.