This I Believe

Lea Ann - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on April 26, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I believe…I am in awe of all of your published essayists. So many people believe so many things. I, once among their ranks, believed in this and that. What do I believe now that I am nearing fifty? I haven’t a clue. I used to KNOW things. Things like, where the bible came from and who God was. That is until my twenty-three year old daughter, who was a religion major, told me that Hinduism was the oldest religion still in practice today. “No,” I told her, “Adam and Eve were the first people on the earth and they were Jewish.” “That’s absurd,” she assured me. We argued back and forth even though I had to know it was a lost cause. This was the same daughter who, when she was six, corrected my spelling of maybe. I told her it was spelled mabe, and back and forth we went until Webster made her triumphant while I, my heart pounding, desperately tried to find the “correct” spelling. This is how my education has taken place. I “hold these things to be true,” until proven wrong. I told my good church going friend about our conversation, explaining about Adam and Eve being Jewish. “You’re right,” she told me. Sigh.

I used to KNOW that both my daughters would grow up and marry a prince charming and have at least two children of their own. It was just a couple of years ago that my oldest daughter started dating women. It was hard to watch as the wedding I had been planning since her birth melted away. I have always said “live and let live.” I have friends who are gay, which is great for them, but MY daughter? I have had to recreate my visions and dreams for her. There are still two grandchildren involved, there is still a grand celebration when she finds “the one.” However, the one thing that has not changed is the love and the laughter and the joy. That part of the dream remains.

My youngest daughter told me the other day that she is moving in with her boyfriend when she graduates from college next month. Her BUDDHIST boyfriend! My Southern Baptist family is going to have a fit. I hear the rhetoric in my head even now as I write this; one child living in sin with a Buddhist, while her sister lives in sin with a lesbian. And yet, I look at these two beautiful, intelligent, amazing women and I KNOW that they are full of life, love, and have respect for all people. Not bad.

I had a conversation with a woman the other day. She asked me if I believed in reincarnation. I told her, “I don’t know, but my daughter does. And I believe in her.”