This I Believe

Anita - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on March 28, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: work

I believe love is hard work and sacrifice. Sure it has its rewards, but you can’t love expecting anything in return. Love can’t come from a need to be loved or from an expectation of gratitude. Love can’t be a valuation between the sacrifice and the reward, it just has to be given when needed.

Love is the hard work it takes to sacrifice your quiet empty nest Saturday mornings cuddling with your husband to make breakfast for your four little nieces. Love is the sacrifice of the money and time it takes to raise four little girls. ages 4, 8, 10 and 12, after you have long finished raising your own two daughters. Love is making dinner for four little cousins, when you have to get ready for work, so that your mom can have an hour of relative quiet after a long day at work and before a long night of homework, baths, and bedtime stories. Love is putting someone else’s needs before your needs- no matter how exhausted, stressed out or sad you might be feeling. Children’s needs seem simple and immediate: to be fed, clothed and sheltered. However anyone with children knows they also need to be listened to, talked to and held. When you get four little girls on your doorstep- all at once- their needs are overwhelming. My parents know about the hard work of love and have put in the time over three decades to build a strong relationship with each other and with their daughters, so even though it is overwhelming it is not impossible to love these little girls.

My mom hates it when people call her a saint for taking in the girls. They are our family and this is what you do when you love someone, you put their needs first.