This I Believe

Erika - Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Entered on April 16, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love
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I Believe that Love has Everything to Do with it

Unlike Tina Turner, I believe that love has everything to do with it because I have experienced the power of love. I’ll admit that I know nothing about marriage or romantic love. But I have experienced pure, caring, self-sacrificing love.

I wasn’t supposed to find this out but, one day when I was around 8 years old, I grew curious and decided to rummage through my mother’s keepsake drawer. Fingering among all the old pictures and mementos, I discovered a tiny notebook and snuck a peek inside. I realized that it was a journal, a diary of sorts, that my mother kept while she was pregnant with me. Being a curious child, I decided to take it into my room and I began to read it. Inside the pages I found that the real reason my parents never married was because of me. My father told my mother that if she had an abortion then they would get married and be together, “happily ever after”. Obviously that didn’t happen because my mother chose to have me. She loved me more than she loved her own chance at “happiness”; she loved me, a fetus, more than she loved the man whom she had loved for seven years—since age 18.

My father and I were never really close before my discovery but, this knowledge unconsciously pulled us further apart. Yes, I still loved him and I even forgave him. But forgetting was, and is, still hard. I suppose he did the best he could at first, and what he couldn’t do, my mother did. I was too naive to recognize that gifts from him under the Christmas tree were in my mother’s handwriting. When I was in the 5th grade and he found out that he was dying of lung cancer, I really felt like he made more of an effort to show me that he loved me. I’m most grateful for that. I always knew that my father loved me but, those months when he was dying I felt how much he loved me.

No disrespect towards Ms. Turner but, I believe that love had everything to do with it because I loved and hold no grudge against my father. It wasn’t the right time for him to have a child; it’s not something that everybody is ready for. I loved my father because I know that he came to love me. What he did before I was born had no effect on how much I loved him. I knew and felt that he loved me. That’s the only thing that matters. I’m just so grateful that my mother loved me enough to put my future ahead of her own. You see, this is why I believe in love. Love does have everything to do with it.