My parents were willing to voluntarily split up just for me. No, it wasn’t the end of their marriage. In fact, it wasn’t anything close to that at all.
My parents and I had moved from our cozy home in North Carolina to a small town in Pennsylvania just before I went into high school. I endured 9th, 10th, and 11th grades but by no means enjoyed myself. I wished every day that I still lived in North Carolina, and apparently my parents knew it was the only place where I’d truly be happy. In the summer before my senior year of high school my parents sat me down for a talk. What was to follow can still bring me tears to my eyes. They explained how they had talked long and hard about me and my happiness. They knew and understood why I was upset about living in Pennsylvania and they had come to a conclusion. Dad would stay in Pennsylvania to continue working for the company that brought us there in the first place so he could retire in a few years, and Mom and I would move back to North Carolina so I could attend high school and go to church with the friends I missed so dearly.
Really?! Was I being selfish or complaining too much for the past three years? I was so excited, but absolutely terrified that my parents loved me so much that they would separate themselves for me. Terrifying love is an odd thing. There really aren’t words to describe it. At that point it was as if a ton of bricks had hit me and I suddenly realized exactly what the phrase, “I’d do anything for my child” really meant.
I’m 23 years old now and that day was six years ago. I still replay it in my mind often. I have so much respect and admiration for my parents and their relationship with each other. This being their 40th anniversary year, I feel more privileged then ever to have two people so devoted to each other and their family in my life. I can only hope that one day I will have children and be able to show them this terrifying love also. A love that is so endless, boundless, and self-sacrificing that it seems make-believe. I believe every parent should practice such a terrifying love.
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