Learning to Love

May 10, 2017

Little did I know that on one beautiful, cool evening in April on Houmas’ Plantation, something would occur that would change my life for the better. Just one action in the time span of fifteen minutes would alter my reality and turn my life around completely. The intensity of this change would come to change my perspective on how I perceive relationships and the beauty in loving another person for the sake of their happiness.

As I crouched down behind a curtain of bushes shoulder to shoulder with some of my closest family members, I could feel the excitement from those around me. I watched my world change right in front of my eyes. My dad, as he began to kneel on one knee, fixed his eyes on what he would soon call his fiancee, his bride to be, his one and only, and the light of his world, was standing in awe with tears building up in her waterline just waiting to rush down her cheeks. As the ring, glistening under the large oak tree as the sun set, was so gracefully placed onto her finger and with every word my father said, her smile grew and grew. Just as my dad began to give us the signal to reveal ourselves, we all ran to them to embrace them with hugs, tears, and congratulatory remarks. All I could hear was the sound of laugher and excitement. The brisk, cool air blew through my hair, and the weather was beyond perfect. We then began to make our way to the dining room for a celebratory dinner. Seeing everyone at the table at once was quite overwhelming, but their smiles and tears of joy made my fears dissipate. The food brought out was so flavorful. Every dish was cooked to perfection, and none of them were too hot or too cold. As the dinner grew to an end, the toasts began. Everyone stood one at a time to express their gratitude, advice, and love to the newly engaged couple. When it came time for me to stand and express my feelings toward the event, the tears began to stream down my face. As I held my glass out, I could not stop shaking. My nerves were taking over, and my voice was cracking. As my speech came to a close, my nerves were under control. The words effortlessly fell off my tongue. Of all the speeches, mine was the hardest to hear because everything I said were things I still needed to learn to do such as: loving them both equally, sharing my dad, and developing a relationship with my dad’s fiancee. As I felt every warm embrace from family members, the reality of this moment began to sink in.

At this moment, not only did my eyes begin to burn from the tears streaming down my face, but my heart wept not only tears of joy, but tears of loss. My father, whom I had just begun to develop a true relationship with since I was adopted and missed out on early bonding, was being swept away from me and soared to a new height that I could not reach. He was moving on with his life, and I could not bare to see him go. The thought of having to share my dad, whom I wanted all to myself because of all the lost years without him around, was beyond anything I could imagine. It was then that I knew I had to learn to be selfless. I no longer could wish someone to myself and refuse to let go. I had to learn that if I kept someone that I loved so deeply from sharing their life and developing a relationship with someone they truly care about, was I truly happy? Was my happiness worth more to me than theirs? It was this moment in time I had to put my own selfish needs away and consider the overflowing amount of love my father shared with his now fiancee. I have now grown to be able to love another for the sake of their happiness. This event’s impact on my life is one that will last forever, and the memories are ones that I will never forget. 

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