I believe in true love because of my parents, Butch and Sandy Campbell. Their love created our family, so I’ve personally experienced its ability to inspire the imagination more than any other emotion.
My parents met in February 1963 in Winchester, Virginia. Sandy was joyriding with some girlfriends who decided to stop at Rouss Fire Hall to flirt with some young firemen gathered in front of the station. During the encounter, Butch walked over to Sandy’s side of the convertible, leaned over and kissed her. My mom always talks about that first kiss coup de foudre and how she knew instantly in that moment he was “the one.”
They became inseparable throughout their sweetheart days at Handley High School. Butch proposed to Sandy on a piano bench during homeroom on March 6, 1966, and the couple married that December.
I was born exactly 12 years later, March 6, 1978, the youngest of the couple’s three children. We’ve grown into a close-knit family, living less than 20 miles apart and gathering for big Sunday meals as well as celebrations for holidays, birthdays, and of course, anniversaries.
My parents have always shown me and my siblings the same devotion that they have to each other and their love. They sacrificed many of their own goals to make it possible for their children to become successful individuals. Neither of my parents had the opportunity to go to college, but they made sure all three of their children graduated. And, that’s just one example of the many ways they have encouraged each of their children to make the most of their potential over the years.
Growing up surrounded by this type of unconditional affection and support shaped my belief that true love makes all things possible. I’ve never been afraid to try anything because I’ve always known my family will be there, and the only thing stopping me is the limit of my own imagination.
Now, I’m not suggesting that it’s been all hearts and flowers for Butch and Sandy. They’ve had to work hard and had their share of ups and downs, just like any relationship, but their commitment to each other and dedication to their family is stronger than any waves of trouble they’ve met along their journey.
Forty-five years after meeting, my parents seem more in love than ever and even still hold hands when they walk across a parking lot. The Bible’s First Corinthians Chapter 13 ends with the verse, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” My parents have taught me about all of these virtues, but none more so than love. I continue to learn from my parents’ relationship and it inspires me to keep searching for my own great love story with a fairy-tale ending while keeping my faith and hope rooted in the possibilities. And, with such a great example, at least I’m pretty sure I’ll know what cupid’s arrow looks like when it travels my way.
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