I believe in the undying love of families.
I remember my dad cutting his business trip short, taking a red-eye flight across the country, from Georgia to Washington, his taxi screeching to a halt, and then seeing him appear from the cloud of dust, tripping awkwardly as he hurried down the stadium steps, still dressed in his dark suit with luggage in hand, in order to find a seat. All this just to see me play in my first playoff football game in high school, which we lost.
I remember my mom staying up far too late night after night to help me with my homework, wearing out red pen after red pen trying to teach me how to write so that I could pass my English class.
I remember the unspoken agreement between my sister Nicole and me that she would come to my football games if I would go to her dance competitions. I remember staying all day on a Saturday just to see her dance, a dance that lasted only three minutes. I remember cheering louder than everyone when she went on stage to receive her first place trophy with the blue ribbon dangling off the foot of the dancing figurine on top.
I remember jumping, startled, as snowballs pounded on my bedroom window and my two younger brothers, Sean and Scottie yelling, “ Come out and play in the snow, your homework can wait, the snow can’t!” I remember sledding with them every night for three weeks until the snow melted. I quickly realized that they were right about the homework.
I believe that love can endure all trials. I remember when I was 10, testing love’s bounds after losing my temper, being banished to my room and kicking a hole in my door, in protest, on the way. I remember waking up the next morning embarrassed, and then being encompassed by my parents forgiving love when I apologized. Despite how many arguments we have had, or how many tears we have shed, I always come to realize how much I still love and care for them, and they for me. It is a reaffirming witness of how deep the ties of love are anchored within me.
Now I have the chance to take the love in my heart, which has grown for the last 25 years, and carry the fruits of it into a family of my own. Even though I’ve been married for only a few months, I saw that love take shape the night I stayed up beside my sick wife, despite having a test early the next morning. I see it again and again as my wife now becomes the one with the red pen helping to edit my papers. The love I have inherited has become the vital foundation I need to create a loving family of my own where I can help that undying love continue to grow.
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