This I Believe

Dave - Topeka, Kansas
Entered on June 29, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: gratitude, love
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Life’s Ultimate Reward

I believe in love, the ultimate reward of life. To never have loved or been loved could only result in a life times worst culmination. Once you have experienced this mystical wonder, you’ll never forget it and the most amazing thing is that it encompasses everything we are exposed to.

As a child, my siblings and I learned love initially from my Grandmother, who, God rest her soul, considered us hellions the greatest percentage of time. My parents worked 14 hours a day six days a week, consequently the second generation rearing was all we had. That’s not to say that my parents didn’t love their children but that their love was demonstrated by how much they could provide for us. Sundays were solely dedicated to the family, and occasionally one of them would break away for dinner with us during the week. I believe that their first love was for each other and family and their second was for their career in retail sales in a small shop that they owned.

My father developed cancer at the age of fifty five, and after treatment, went into remission for a few years. Seven years after the diagnosis, he passed away. During the first five years of his disease we were not speaking because of an argument and my temperamental ways. But in the last two years we resolved our differences and I visited him as often as I could stand. My dad was a strong man, one that I know I could never have gotten the best of and to see him deteriorate to the feeble shell that he housed was very depressing. When the end was nearing I recall visiting him one day and asking him if working your ass off all of your life was worth it, He replied, “If you love what you do, it’s worth it.” His answer induced me to depart because of a sinking feeling in my chest and the tears I know I could not hold back. As I exited the room I could not bear to look at him and show my masculine weakness. He uttered out, “I love you David.” And I returned the salutation as I hurried to get out the door. There was no holding back now and I wept most of the evening alone avoiding consoling. This experience left a lasting impression of love that I will never forget. It also instilled in me that if you love what you do, your vocation can be a vacation. What greater reward for living could one ask for?

And so my friends, I wish unto you, don’t miss out on life’s greatest treasures. Love and be loved as much and as many times as possible, for love, truly is one of life’s most precious commodities.