This I Believe

Jennifer - Poland, Ohio
Entered on May 2, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, love

The Truth about Love

As a child I often thought about King Midas and the golden touch. I used to wish that I could turn everything I touched into gold. I believed that all my troubles would vanish with this magical ability. I really wanted this to be true because I grew up under very poor circumstances. I was the youngest of five children, and my father deserted my family when I was only a year old. My mother had no work skills, and this being the 1960’s, she, like most women of this time, was a stay at home mom. When my father remembered, he would send support checks, but if he did not, well, dinner was sometimes a bowl of popcorn. Welfare was not acceptable back then, and we lived in a college town, where poverty was not supposed to exist. Unfortunately, it ran rampant in my house. No matter what happened though, I always knew we would be okay, because my mother and sisters loved and took care of each other and me.

I swore that when I grew up and had a child, life would be different. I vowed that my child would never go hungry or know the embarrassment of being poor. Having lots of money was the most important goal. As a matter of fact, I decided that I would have only one little girl and no pets, so I could maximize money coming in, and minimize the chaos I felt was inherent to a large family.

Then life set in. I married and had four daughters along with a menagerie of animals. Chaos became my middle name. As my life unfolded, a constant theme that repeated itself continuously was a lack of money, but never, a lack of love. After each of my wonderful daughters was born, I would wrap them up in a blanket of love. What I did not realize was that as they grew, I was building a fortress of love that would keep us safe and secure and one that I hope will last a lifetime.

When the sun is smiling down upon me, I feel like I carry the luck of a leprechaun and everyone seems to be my friend. It is when the chips are down, and bad luck is chasing me like a demon, that I find out who really loves and cares about me. To know the love of someone, such as my child, my spouse, or my best friend, is to know true joy. Having a person who I love, and who loves me, is worth more than gold. Since when can gold give a hug or a word of encouragement? To form a foundation of love, to love, and to be loved, is the most beautiful and solid structure a human can build. This, I believe, is that though wealth has passed me by, the warmth of love lights even my darkest of nights.