My sister was the only one in my family who cared about what made me happy.  She was the only one who knew what I wanted to do with my life and the only one who asked questions.  I never faulted my parents because I knew they were just doing their best, but I found myself jealous when other parents made it to school concerts, plays and sporting events.  If mine made it to a parent teacher conference I was impressed.  My sister and I always did have food on the table, clean clothes, a roof over our heads and for that I was grateful.   

Only my sister knew that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.  A painter, if you want to get specific.  My art teachers in high school pushed me to attend as many different workshops I could so I could get the exposure I needed for college scholarships.  I never mentioned anything to my parents because they were convinced a steady desk job and steady life led to a fulfilled life.  I wanted action.  I wanted adventure.  I wanted to be an artist.  My first show in the Main Street Art Gallery when I was twenty-three was the only extracurricular activity my parents ever came to.  I cringed when they walked in, not knowing how they would react to my abstract paintings.   

“Why didn’t you ever tell us?”  Was the only thing my mom said.  I was relieved to see she was smiling. 


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