The Family Meeting

The four of us met at the table. My mother, my brothers and me.

We held our tongues with a solemn air, and then began to speak of dreams.

I didn’t know. Until I faced the fact that I might not go. I didn’t know how much I wanted to be at my university. In the mountain air, with the falling leaves, that crunch under my feet as I walk pathways of uncertainty and of new discoveries.

I didn’t know. Until I saw familiar numbers thrown together in unfamiliar and menacing ways on bank statements and tuition statements, my mother’s statement of a furrowed brow and lips weighted down at the corners by heavy news.

I didn’t know. That something must die so that your dreams don’t.

And there at that table with family on all sides, my only education was that satisfaction takes sacrifice.

We all had an offering. A house for him, tuition for me. The other wants to build a home for his growing family. The mother just wants to see her children happy and wrapped in the contentment of having left no stone unturned.

In my family where everyone is equally and passionately loved, each of our dreams are equally and passionately important

And so the urge to let loose noble words rose around our round table. The obligation to lay bare our respective dreams and hold them up to the unforgiving light of necessity and put them in their practical place.

And when it was my turn, I am ashamed to say, there was a battle between my heart and mind as my “noble” words stuck behind my teeth and fought for liberation

Liberation in the name of the love that these people had written into my story.

And that love gave me strength to speak

And I spoke with that breathless fear that my dreams now laid bare would not be returned whole to me.

And if my heart shook in that silence then it trembled in the noise of their objections

As they proclaimed that leaving school was not an option, and that whatever needed to happen would happen so that I could stay.

And my eyes burned but my heart soared

As I saw that my family that had so much to lose and so much to gain would compromise that gain

so that I could chase

after my dreams.

So this is what makes me tick:

This is why I would appreciate this gift of a scholarship so that

the burden my family took on in love, would be lovingly lifted, just a bit.


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