You Must Know That I Love You

As you reflect on your life thus far, what has someone said, written, or expressed in some fashion that is especially meaninful to you? Why?

As we all piled onto the aging tweed sofa, my dad struggled to get the fancy new VCR to work while my mom, my brother Jacob, and I continued to stare vacantly at the blank screen. It was Christmas Eve, 2001, and we were settling in to watch a dusty, recently rediscovered home video. The film opened unceremoniously, depicting a common scene among siblings: a young girl, jumping up and down, was desperately attempting to attract the attention of her disinterested older brother. The group laughed. After all, Jacob and I had long since forgotten about that difficult early period; we were good buddies now, and had been for well over a year, ever since I completed the seventh grade. As the video progressed, however, it grew increasingly darker and more uncomfortable. The next scene revealed him viciously propelling my six-year old feather weight frame down the stairs. Then, he stoops, picks up a shoe box, and throws it at me - hard. On film, we see my mother rush to rescue me, all the while chastising Jacob as her daughter resiliently picks herself off the floor, in spite of a bleeding knee. In real time, I note mom and dad shifting nervously on the coach, working hard to conceal their deep frowns. I wonder, "Should I...

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