This I Believe

Hannah - Peachtree City, Georgia
Entered on May 7, 2007

I believe that love can conquer all. Even during desperate times, when you’re lost and hurting, there is a love that is greater than that pain—a love that can pull you through to reach the sunshine that comes with the dawn of a new day.

One summer, I spent two weeks at Camp Sunshine, a camp for families with children who have cancer. These families were in the middle of possibly the most difficult experiences of their lives, yet they had a smile on their faces. There were kids in wheelchairs, little girls with no hair, and even kids who couldn’t see, speak, or eat normally. But even amidst all the pain and suffering, there was love. There was a pure, simple love that I’d never experienced before. A love for life, a love for joy, and a love for each other.

At Camp Sunshine, families no longer worried about the mediocre must-haves such as wearing the right clothes or working the best job to make the most money. In the time of a crisis, they came to realize that the time with their family, the times of true love and true joy, were and are the most important gifts in their lives. I saw little brothers and sisters treat each other one hundred times better than my siblings and I act. I can still see in my mind when a little girl ran to her brother who had taken a slight fall on the playground—even at seven years old, she understood the value of love and the importance of her relationship with her brother.

Without love, there would be no strong relationship between father and son, mother and daughter, brother and sister. Without love, there would be no reason to live each day for just the satisfaction of living and breathing.

What provides the real pleasures of life? Is it friends? Family? Money? Sports? What ever it is that brings joy to your life, it does so because you love it. So without the love you feel for your family, or your job, or your car, you would find no fulfillment from these things.

In some ways, I think that families who deal with cancer are a step ahead of us “lucky” families. They have been able to take a step back from their hectic lives to realize the importance of love, and what truly matters, while most people continue on with their lives, never fully understanding the power and the true value of love.