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A Story of Redemption: Life Lessons Learned

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

A Memoir by Dr. Marcia Palomino Hawk about a Daughter's Return to Her Father

By Michael Heath /

In 2011, Dr. Marcia Hawk lost her second husband. It was not a perfect marriage and Hawk easily admits that there were some very rough spots. But it was a union that mostly worked, and they genuinely loved one another. Anyone in a similar situation would mourn the death of a spouse, but Hawk found herself nearly inconsolable with grief. She missed her husband terribly but could not understand why she was suffering so badly. It was not for another four years before she was able answer this nagging question.

From Rags to Success

Hawk grew up dirt poor in Jamaica. When she was just eight years old, the family patriarch left her mother and three siblings. A very self-centered man, he was unable to deal with the sacrifices and responsibilities that came with marriage and raising children. He headed to the United States with a new wife, leaving the brood with no means of support. Evictions, a lack of food, and wearing ragamuffin clothing were common family experiences. With no father figure in the home, Hawk made many bad choices and eventually became pregnant at 16.

When Hawk became of age, the single mother too made it north to the land of opportunity. A high school dropout, she managed to obtain her GED and work her way through college on the way to earning a Ph.D. A first marriage went very badly, and Hawk suffered both mental and physical abuse. She divorced, and redirected her life, finding a passion for data and the science of it. Her career soared as a consultant helping entities turn data into useful information. She remarried and found a certain sense of happiness.

Hawk Is Reunited with Her Father

Dr. Marcia Palomino Hawk
Dr. Marcia Palomino Hawk

Four years after her second husband’s death, and thirty-three years after the family was abandoned, Hawk reunited with her father. The man she hardly knew was then an elderly 91-year-old widower under the care of her brother and a sister. Hawk was so broken by the past that she wanted nothing to do with him, but relented in managing some day-to-day caring to ease the burden on the siblings. It was during these last nine months of her father’s time on earth that Hawk’s life took a dramatic change.

Dr. Marcia Hawk Needed Her Father and He Needed Her

Assisting her father in his cleaning and feeding, Hawk found herself in long conversations with the man who was absent for almost her entire life. There was no excuse for his abandoning the family, but Hawk did realize that there were previously unknown dynamics effecting the events. The father’s second wife was a strong-willed personality whose insistence on his detaching from the old life kept him from contacting his children. He coped with the separation by becoming stoic and unloving. Hawk and her siblings noted that when they first came in contact with their long-lost father, he was unable to show emotion and resisted affections like hugging or mere touching. In time, his children saw that the old man wanted to love again. He managed to tell his daughter how beautiful she was, how smart and accomplished she became. He was sincerely interested in many aspects of her life, asking many questions. The validations gave Hawk the closure she did not even realize she was looking for. This led to an unfolding experience and the opportunity to make up for some lost time.

Life Has Grace

It was during the nine months of caring for her father that Hawk came to realize the reason for her emotional devastation over the death of her second husband. Hawk understood that her second husband played the role of a father that, up until then, she never knew. For Hawk, her second husband’s death was two deaths. Hawk’s long hours spent with her real father filled a deep emotional hole. It is in A Story of Redemption: Life Lessons Learned that Hawk tells the world that in the long walk of life there is always time for a second chance.

A Story of Redemption: Life Lessons Learned by Dr. Marcia Hawk can be purchased through Amazon.

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