This I Believe

Therese - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 10, 2007

I want to keep having fun with my high school friends forever. If that requires calling them several times without hearing back from them, I’ll do it with pleasure, because we’ll have so much fun when we finally do get together that I’ll forget how long it took to make it happen.

I always want to be able to solicit advice from my mom, who moved across the country when I was 17. If that requires calling her every week to catch up, or buying her plane ticket to California to see my wedding, I’ll do it gladly, because her impartial perspective reveals new ways to approach life’s difficulties.

I never want to stop talking to my little brother Fernando, whose easy going temperament still amazes me. If that requires putting him on my cell phone account, I’ll do it without hesitating, because his laid back demeanor makes my big problems seem much smaller.

I want to hear every last one of my dad’s stories, from those about his childhood to those about mine. If that requires sending stationary, money, and packages, and driving 2 ½ hours to see him every month, I’ll do it cheerfully, because his pride to have me as a daughter keeps me striving to make him proud.

I want to see the smiling faces of my little brother and sister, Blade and Butterfly, who were adopted by another family when they were very young. If that requires sending letters to their case worker and keeping my contact information updated with her, I’ll do it devotedly, because I hope that one day a letter will reach them, and they’ll know someone else loves them.

I want to make peace with my fiancées mother, who’s never quite warmed up to me. If that requires spending weekends at her house or letting her help plan the wedding she’s not paying for, I’ll do it without question, because I want to be close to the family I’m entering.

I want to learn everything I can about soil, so I can help farmers, ranchers, and engineers get the most from the land they work with. If that requires devoting eight more years to school, and more years later to keep in touch with soil studies, I’ll do it enthusiastically, because I want our nation’s land to supply food for all future generations.

I’ll always wish I had spent more time with my grandmother, whose tolerance, hunger for knowledge, and devotion to family set an admirable example for all who knew her. I don’t want to regret neglecting the people and things I love ever again. If that requires calling, or sending letters and packages, if that requires paying for cell phones, weddings, and plane tickets, if it requires driving or flying long distances, or spending long hours with family or in soil pits, I will doggedly stay in touch with everything I hold dear by any means necessary, because I know that some day I may lose that opportunity.