it's working now.
i could relate to many of the details: being an outsider in middle school, shutting down emotionally, the fatherless boy experience, craving male role models and mentors, the church setting, the benign neglect of a widowed mother, the loss of specific memories and regaining the experience as an adult.
good work. i anticipate the next narrative episode - whichever direction you drive it.
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"