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Understanding a Parent’s Love: College Edition

by Ashley Surber

People have told me before that there is this misconception about love that we tend to convince ourselves of, that a feeling of infatuation or woo then translates to love. We mistake many things for expressions of love and when times where it really matters, we aren’t able to express it appropriately. I’ve come to know real love is sacrificial. Love is putting someone above yourself. I’ve learned all of these things by watching my mom and the way that she has relentlessly loved me and my siblings.

I do believe there are many qualities that make love different, and there are also many ways that make it the same, regardless of its form or who it is shown to. We all know the love of a friendship or a relationship, we also know the distinction of a love expressed by a brother or sister. I hope and wish that we all have felt in one way or another the love of a parent.

Since being in college I have come to find that I constantly miss my mom. I miss her graciousness, her sense of humor, the way she wildly laughs and the ways that she comforts me and knows me. She may not fully understand each and every aspect of the things that I feel passionate about, but because she values my aspirations and the things that make me happy, she is able to support me in all of my endeavors. She values. She tells me she is proud of me, and because of this, I jump at the opportunity to let her know when something wonderful has happened. She makes my efforts feel appreciated and she makes me feel known. She’s the coolest, the craziest, and one of the best examples of holistic love that I know. 

I think as we grow, we start to peel away this perception that the adults in our lives are some mysterious figure. We start to appreciate them in a deeper sense because we slowly see them convey more of who they truly are. I have a better grasp on who my mom is, aside from her mom title. Allowing yourself to see them as a person, a friend, and in my case a best friend makes you wonder how you could’ve ever gone so long without taking a closer look. 

I appreciate her genuine concern to care for me and to guide me to the place that I eventually hope to be. She makes me want to love better, even when it’s hard to and to give more even when you feel as if you can’t.

With all this in mind, you start to see the kind of love you have for the one who raised you to the point you are now, but more importantly, you see the unprecedented love they have for you. This love encapsulates the sacrifice, the determination, the endless perusal for a better tomorrow. It is putting someone whom you love and will always love above yourself and sticking to that commitment regardless the circumstance.

HC Ole Miss
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