I believe in unconditional love. To unconditionally love is to love without expectations. The kind of love a mother feels towards the young child who just scribbled on the wall with that permanent marker she shouldn’t have left within reach. The kind of love a father feels when his sixteen-year-old driver did some unsightly damage to the new family car. The kind of love that overcomes fury and frustration because its rooted so deep in your heart it becomes untouchable even by the most horrific heart wrenching disappointments. Though I think a parent’s love is by far the most prominent example of this kind of love, I think you can unconditionally love other people in your life whether it is a friend or a lover.
From a young age my mother demonstrated what it was to love someone without expecting anything in return. She stood by my father for twelve years despite his infidelities, drinking and other various addictions. I’ve never witnessed someone put so much compassion and love into a relationship without receiving any kind of sweetness or affection in return. When I was nine my mom filed for divorce from my father after discovering a drug habit he had kept from her, and he moved out. A few months later my dad’s closest friend, a man I had called my uncle my entire life, committed suicide, and my dad became severely depressed. Seeing my dad struggle destroyed my mom and so she took him back and proceeded to take care of him for the next year while he let his life fall to pieces and nearly drank himself to death. Eventually my parent’s followed through with their divorce but things remain untouched. My father still has his issues and my mother still loves my father, her love will not fade because it is completely unconditional and therefore cannot be affected not then, not now.
I have faith in unconditional love because I got to experience this love my whole life and for that I am forever thankful. So the mother will put that permanent marker high out of reach, her little girl will sit in time out with no toys, and she will spend the next three hours scrubbing her white walls spotless. The mother’s anger won’t linger long, that little girl will still get tucked into bed that night with a story and a kiss. The angry father will ground his “irresponsible son” and maybe he won’t drive for the next few weeks. His dad will get over it though and on graduation day he’ll find that gorgeous new truck in the driveway. This kind of love is about forgiveness and acceptance. To love someone’s talents as much as their flaws, their success as much as their failures. I believe to love and be loved is amazing, but to love without being loved in return or feeling loved is simply extraordinary.