Love is a difficult thing to put on paper at best. There are so many types of love, I’m sure I don’t know where to begin. I have experienced many kinds of love in my short life, and I am sure you will take them to heart.
My first love is my love for life; not many people have experienced the struggle that I have to maintain my life. When I first went in, they told us that I had no more time than probably six months. Of course, no one told me this and my love for life flourished and I did not die. With the help of my family and friends, I fought back and am doing fine today.
That brings me to my second love: my love of my family. I do not know that I could have made it without their love and support. Every last one of them, down to the smallest child, helped me to come out of my shell and get back into real life. My parents helped most of all, giving love and encouragement as I needed it, but my aunts and uncles and grandparents, too, all expressed their concerns for me.
At that time, my friends and I shared an interesting relationship. For a while, they came over often, sat and talked with me, made me feel really good. After a while, the visits became more and more spread out, until they stopped altogether. Understand, I got cancer in the fourth grade and went to a tiny school with 200 kids. I knew everyone there and they all worried about me. When I finally got back to school, it was in the seventh grade at a junior high school. Kids from all over went there, and none knew I’d had cancer; no one cared. My friends all pulled away from me because I was different from the rest. I was treated horribly from the start and the rest was hell. Somehow I lived through the hell and when I decided on high school, I knew I wasn’t going to the same place everyone else was going. I decided to go to Bishop Miege High School. Miege was the Garden of Eden. People there didn’t care what you looked like or what disabilities you had; they liked you all the same. At least they didn’t play all the nasty tricks on you that they did at the public schools, and the teachers at Miege really seemed to care about you. I still have a few friends who stayed with me through the whole ordeal, but I formed new friends here, and they are all very good friends.
My relationship with God is an extremely complex one, and I will try to explain it to you. I always knew God was there, and I knew he cared about me, but I didn’t love him all the time. Actually, when I got cancer and all of those bad things started happening, I think I actually hated God. I blamed him for letting this happen to me. I mean, he was supposed to watch after me, right? I took in all of the religious dogma that was offered like a good little boy, and after a while I realized that this wasn’t God’s fault at all, but rather I was a victim of circumstance. Slowly, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to make it through this without help. I read the prayer “Footprints” and started believing in God again and loving Him as he loves me. I never told anyone before, but I think that I am here for a special purpose. As my love for God flourished, my recovery quickened, and the doctors were beside themselves. I defied all medical odds. My love of God is still strong today, and I hope there are no more surprises in store for me.
There is another love for a special few, certainly not my least love, that love I share with my cousins. They are my friends, my family, and I can tell them things I can tell no one else. Each of my cousins is a unique love in my heart, and each of them knows it. I cannot explain it, but I feel closer to them than to anyone else.
There are so many kinds of love, I could not begin to get them all on paper, but there is one love I cannot leave out. That love is of my special friends. Those friends who have seen me through the good times and the bad times. Those friends who were always there through thick and thin. I do not even know if you can call it love, there is no affection for them except for our strong bond of togetherness we share, and I do not even know if I will always be, but for the present only, I cherish their friendship.
Finally, I would say one more thing. Love takes all shapes and forms. Love is in the eye of the beholder and therefore can be extremely hard to explain. I hope I have given you what you wanted. It has come from deep inside my heart.