When I was a little girl, I never really dreamed of weddings and houses and futures. I dreamed about love, about being happy. Back then, love was about family and toys and racing paper sailboats in the gutters with my brothers. And as life went on love became other things; still family, friends, and eventually being in love. Love can be many things, it can be the bond you share with your family, the intimacy with your friends, or the passion you have for that one right person, but for everything it is, I believe in love, and the power it can have in one’s life.
My belief in love started when I was very young, with my family. I’m one of five kids and though being in a big family has its downsides, love is always in abundance. My parents have always cared about my brothers and I. They’ve worked harder than any other parents I know to give us more than they possibly can. They’ve been there through all the bad and worrisome times to hold our hands, and all the good times to laugh and smile. We were always happy. My parents were our superheroes, and their great love for us was their superpower.
My parents not only loved us, but showed us how to love by loving each other. Their relationship had always been a great example of what love is. It isn’t perfect; we’ve seen them disagree, but it’s real. My dad has been there for every birth and every doctor’s appointment my mom has been through.
Recently, she found an abnormal growth and had to go to many doctor’s appointment to make sure it wasn’t anything threatening. It was strange seeing my mother at this time. She had always been so strong and hardworking, but she seemed tired and worn while she rested and went from doctor to doctor.
At one appointment they tried to stop my dad from going into the room with my mom. She was scared and nervous and so was my dad. He had always been there for her for everything. He couldn’t just sit in the dim waiting room while she was alone in that bright examination room, sitting atop that uncomfortable, crinkly paper. He had to cry to get into the room. “Nothing they could do would stop me from being in there with her,” he told me later.
It was moments like these that showed me what love could be, moments that would help me in relationships throughout my life, or rather, in my relationship with Casey.
Casey and I met our junior year in high school, and having all but one class together the first semester, we got to see each other quite frequently throughout the day. As we became friends, we found out quickly that things just clicked, and in no time, we were dating.
A few months after we started having a relationship, I came close to ending it all. I was having trouble in school, with my family, and with my friends as well. I became very stressed as well as depressed and soon I was trying to cut our “distractions” in my life.
I tried to tell Casey that I needed to focus on school and family and friends, and that our relationship would get in the way. I started to cry, and so did he, and I felt worse than before.
“Kristin, I’m only here to help you out. I only want to make you happy,” he pleaded with me. “I promise it’ll be okay.”
“I don’t know. I just think it would be better if I didn’t have to worry about us too.”
After a couple of hours he asked “Can I please just come to talk to you? I can’t do this over the phone.”
I had had my mind fully made up. In that ten minutes before he got there I had run the coming conversation through my mind. “I’ll say I’m sorry. I’ll get this over with as fast as I can. Be cool. Don’t let him talk you out of this.”
Then there he was, standing at the curb in under the moonlight, and that was it. As I walked up to him, both of us with tears streaming down our faces, I knew that I couldn’t just let this go. That day we learned we had love, and with love what could stop us?
Our relationship has held its share of tests, but we’ve made all that’s been thrown at us so far. Every decision we make for us, we have to decide what’s best for each other and put our selflessness aside, like the decision to have sex or not, the decision to go to the same college or ones in different states. It may be hard to make the right decision for us, but we also have the knowledge that we can make it through such things and come out stronger.
The decision to have a long distance relationship was hard, but really a no brainer. I would do anything for Casey to be happy, even though right now it means not being able to see him as much as I like.
At first, I had a really hard time with the distance. It didn’t help that I had no friends to hang out with since I had just moved to Casa Grande. I felt like Casey was getting to see his old friends from California and having a great time living in his own place, doing his own thing, while I was stuck at my parent’s house.
As college started, I started to have more things to keep me busy, though I still missed him all the time. School and work became helped me focus on other things besides being lonely. And near the end of the semester, when I could look forward to the long winter break, seeing Casey, and getting out of town, I got a late night call from Casey.
I was already confused before I put the phone up to my ear and heard the sniffles on the other end. “I don’t know what to do. Nothing seems to be going right, and I just wish you were here.”
“It’ll be okay,” I assured him. “All these other things will work out and I’ll see you soon” I knew then that he had missed me just as much as I did him. As we helped each other through our problems that semester, we saw that, just as Mata Amritanandamavi had said, “Where there is love, distance doesn’t matter.”
We are still in our long distance relationship, and I miss him more every day, but I know he’ll always be there when I need him, just like I’ll be there for him. Our love is greater that any distance that can be put between us.
Love is everywhere I look. It’s been important to my life because it had made my life worth living. The love of my family, as well as Casey, has helped me through the tough times, and made the great moment all that much better. Love is a powerful thing.