Mama nodded at Papa over the dinner table and smiled, salad dressing shining on her lips. When eating a good meal, with our feet under our own table, we felt that we were, indeed, royalty.
'And applesauce for dessert,' Mama said with a wink.
I hover close here because I understand that our survival lay in that exchange, and in the precarious balance of Mama and Papa's emotional investment in our lifestyle. To succeed at this life, they had to constantly feed their vision of it, or it would wither and die."
Such understanding, even years later, is the reward of deep re-examination.
Deirdre Fulton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS: ONE DREAM, SIXTY ACRES, AND A FAMILY UNDONE | by Melissa Coleman | HarperCollins | 325 pages | $25.99 | reading Thursday, April 14 @ 7 pm | Longfellow Books, One Monument Way, Portland | 207.772.4045 | longfellowbooks.com | find other readings around Maine and New England at melissacoleman.com
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