This I Believe

Jessica - Sacramento, California
Entered on February 9, 2007

I loved my parents. I always responded back with “I love you too”. I ate Eggo waffles every morning before school. We always had the giant 64 pack in the freezer. Homemade dinners were prepared for me. My mom always told us to eat our vegetables. Christmas time meant decorating our tree and listening to Christmas music. We were reminded that giving is better than receiving. Baseball season was a time to prove my support as an older sister from the stands. I could get a tan and do my homework at the same time. I was yanked out of bed on Sundays and driven to church. The service always left me in a better mood.

But now, things are different. I wish I could wake up on Sundays and attend church with my family. I miss cheering on my brothers at their baseball games. Christmas season rolls around, but I don’t feel the joy. Dinner, if I’m lucky, consists of fast food, but usually, I’m limited to what’s served on campus. I don’t have access to a toaster, so in the mornings I’m stuck with cereal, that is, if I have milk. Ultimately, I no longer have my parents who provided me with all this. I have always loved my parents, but being an independent college student has made me appreciate them even more. I didn’t realize how much I cherished certain things in my life until I couldn’t have them anymore. I believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Moving away from my parents and my home also signaled the time of moving apart from my best friend. In August, he packed his bags for military school on the east coast, while I stayed in sunny California to attend a public university. Most people will tell you that long distance relationships eventually fade away, and I would be lying to say that I never became fearful of falling into this presumed belief. Life was tough. The first six weeks I thrived on letters. No phone, no Internet. One piece of stationary paper had never held so much meaning. The little things that before had gone unnoticed were now greatly missed: driving into the school parking lot in the morning, seeing each other, and smiling, sitting at the same bench together during lunch, sharing an occasional Oreo, opening my front door to a dirty, sweaty football player in need of a glass of chocolate milk, playing catch or watching Sportscenter on Saturdays, one of the two. How spoiled I was to have him in my everyday life.

After leaving for college, it didn’t take long for me to recognize all the things I had taken for granted. It’s not easy living without my Eggos, my brothers, my Sunday morning church services, and my best friend. But you know what? It’s taught me to love them even more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. This I believe.