My parents got divorced 7 years ago and the first year of their separation was considerably difficult. I was 12 years old and going into 6th grade, my first year of middle school. Before the divorce my mom worked part time and was always able to pick me up from school and spend afternoons with me. After the divorce my mother returned to work full time and I was now left alone in the afternoons. Although I had close friends, most days I would take the bus home spend a few hours watching television until my mom or older brother returned home. I was not use to spending this much time by myself and yet the alternative was to go to some after school program, which I rejected immediately, the hours of solitude created a sadness that I found difficult to shake.
My mom came home early one afternoon and informed me that we were going to get a surprise, which came as a shock. We got into the car and drove for about 20 minutes before finally turning into a parking lot where I realized that she was taking me to get a companion for the lonely afternoons. As I opened the door to get out of the car my mother stopped me and said. “Although I wish things could be different right now and I could be home with you in the afternoons, I hope you will find a replacement for my absence in a kitten.” I smiled with excitement and replied, “No other person or animal could ever replace you mom, but a kitten would greatly help pass the time and keep me company.” We ventured into our local Humane Society and picked out an adorable yellow and white-striped tiger kitten, that I named Bear.
Having a kitten to come home to was the next best thing to having a mom. Bear not only brought me joy to play with, but also companionship. Although my mom had apologized millions of times about having to leave me alone in my house afterschool, the fact that she recognized my sadness and took action was what meant the most to me. During the divorce my mother had told me she loved me many times, but by giving me this kitten she showed me how much she loved me and that was the miracle in disguise.
Hearing comforting words and understanding that someone loves you is very different than someone’s action showing you how much they love you. When I go through hard times like my parents divorce or just a bad day, someone giving me a hug is much more meaningful than someone saying the token “I’m sorry you had a bad day.” In the last decade of my life through good and bad experiences I have created the belief that showing love is much more meaningful than saying you love someone.
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