I believe in love. Once in a while, when I am least expecting it, I am fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of true love. It’s not in the showy displays that couples that say that they love each other so much do to try to convince others of their love. It’s that little smile that two people have on their faces when they look at each other, nothing big or obvious, just a little twitch of the mouth that says everything. I know that I’ve never felt that way about anyone, but I pray that someday I will.
When I was little, I thought that love was overrated. My parents fought and I didn’t know why I would want to “love” someone because I thought that meant that I would have to fight with that person. So I decided that I just wouldn’t waste my time and that marriage was probably a bad idea anyway. I used to watch my mother and father interact, and it seemed more like two people that didn’t really care about each other. They would say anything to hurt the other, and didn’t seem to care if what they were saying would negatively affect the other person. I couldn’t understand how they could say “I love you” to each other and then say the same thing to me, and I would hesitate to say it back because I didn’t want to get in a fight with them.
Finally, my parents did something fantastic: they got divorced. Most children are not exactly happy about such a development, but I knew it would be better for both of them. My faith was somewhat shattered when they brought home other people, since none of them seemed to make them happy. But it all worked itself out. Now my mother is with a man that puts that little smile on her face every day without even trying. He doesn’t ever do things that make her upset just because he can, and then put on big displays like flowers or dinners out to fix it. They don’t fight. They disagree, but they sit down and talk about it, instead of shouting and fighting and going to bed mad. Just by the way she looks at him when he comes in the door after work, I know I’m in the presence of something amazing. I have been inspired by the love that they show each other, and I now know that somewhere out there, that’s waiting for me too.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.