As a child, I never completely understood every situation. Even though I knew about the consequences of a divorce, how could I ever comprehend the pain of family separation or the loss of my family? By evading this pain by an inch, I know the importance of a parent’s love.
Even as a first grader, I knew why my parents were fighting everyday. My father cheated on my mother. He even planned for a divorce. Of course, I knew about divorce. Still, why should I care as long as I can still see my family?
On a weekend, I went to a snow park with my family, only without my mom. I sled down a tall hill. A nice lady offered me some hot cocoa. My dad and the lady began to play with her son, and all I could think of was how many trucks her son might have at home. Little did I know that this kid could have been my stepbrother.
I don’t want a stepbrother. I want my family—not one with a stepmother and a stepbrother—the one that truly loves me. The reason why my parents are not together most of the time is now uncovered. How could my mother bear to live in a same house as my father? Why didn’t she just divorce him? How could they endure seeing each other’s face? I still cannot believe to this day how my mother kept the burning anger and anguish within her. What is the fuel that keeps her going? The answer is I.
Without a separated family, I am spared of sorrow and distraught. Instead of divorcing, my parents dedicated their life onto me. I first doubted them. I don’t know how much parents love their children. I disagree when a person says that one has to be a parent to understand the love for a child. Now, apparently, I do.
Both my father and mother have tried their best to make me a better person. Would I be a diligent student if my parents divorced? I don’t have to answer because two people threw the question away for me.
One day, my parents told me their main belief in life: I am their life. I froze and stared. To save my embarrassment, I changed the topic to a T.V. show. I was stupid.
Unlike other parents, my parents did not throw me away. I can speak for other children who had witnessed a parental love. I need my parents. Now I know that my parents make up my life.
I have evidence that a parent’s love is important. During one fight, I yelled, “Stop fighting!” The scarred agony that I felt still burns me. For one second, I had a taste—a taste of my mother’s pain.
I cannot wish for a stronger love. Neither of my parents should be ashamed. What can erase the mistakes of their past? The answer is directly in front of their eyes: my love for them.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.