This I Believe

Jeniece - Healdsburg, California
Entered on March 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: change, love
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I believe that distance really does make the heart grow fonder. That when two people, whether family, friends, or lovers, are put to the test of time and distance, it can ultimately bring them closer.

Since I was a young child, I have had the reoccurring experience of having loved ones move away. Before I was seven, my best friend boarded a plane to Colorado and in fifth grade I was abandoned by grandparents that helped raise me as they moved to Reno and by my oldest sister who went off to college. It did not end there. In between and after, I had other friends who moved away and another sister who left for college. I was beginning to feel as if anyone who was too close to me would up and leave, but I eventually saw that these changes brought more meaning and love to my relationships.

Melissa was my best friend in fifth grade. We spent weekends together, were in Girl Scouts together, watched movies together, and listened to her mom tell us army stories together. Unfortunately, her mother’s occupation called her to duty, and she shipped off to Texas in seventh grade. Melissa and I would send cards, little presents, and call each other every week. As the years have gone by, and as she was newly stationed in Baltimore, the letters turned to quick emails, the presents turned into late birthday gifts, and the phone calls came less frequently. But still we knew one another inside out. Her occasional visits home, and my few trips to visit her made seeing one another quite a gift. We could always pick up where we left off.

Tracy, Melissa’s mom, called me in August and asked me what I was doing the weekend of September 25. She told me she had a plane ticket for me to come and surprise Melissa for her 18th birthday. The surprise brought tears to both Melissa’s and my eyes. It was like seeing a sister again after ten years. As we ate birthday dinners, trekked around Washington, D.C., and indulged in gossip, we never felt an awkward moment between us.

It’s like that with my grandparents too. They’re in Reno now, and I can’t go over every day and have dinner with them or make cookies with my Noni, but it’s so much more special now when I do. I call them more often than I would if they still lived in Healdsburg, and when they are in town I make more of an effort to hang out with them. There isn’t a wall that has built up, and I feel like they know me better with the distance in between us.

People think once someone moves away or leaves, it’s the end of a relationship, but I believe that the distance makes the relationship stronger and more loving.