Resilient is a personal essay about a newspaper article that portrayed my family as being highly dysfunctional and abusive, while looking at how I saw my family growing up.

            “How about I have you’re sorry ass thrown into jail?” he screams at her. “How about I throw that bitch of a daughter of yours out on the street?”

            The shouting continues and I pull a pillow over my head. Why can’t they just stop?

            “You are so fucking stupid,” he screams, and it echoes off the walls.

****

            The article reeked of misquotations and over exaggerations. Chris and I both discarded it after reading, but my grandmother cut it out and hid it in a box for me. My English teacher, Mrs. Rector, posted it on her bulletin board, exclaiming how she had never known that I had come through so much.

            “That’s funny,” I said to her, “neither did I.”

****

            “Chris has gotten so pudgy,” I say through bouts of laughter as I pull the pumpkin pie out of the oven.

            “I know,” my mother cries. “That boy can really pack on the pounds. Makes me wonder how good of a cook that wife of his is.”

            “She’s not,” I say, “they just eat out a lot.”

            There is a long pause while I think about the meal at a relative’s house yesterday where I ran into my older brother and his wife. For a moment I look towards the picture of him and Amy on the counter, one where Chris leans against the rails of a boat in shorts and a t shirt while Amy rests her head on his shoulder. His face has filled out, his waist has thickened, and there is a vibrant glow in his eyes. His forearms still bare those faint scars, but they are mere memories of a worse time.

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