Love . . .
By CeCe Gilmore
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. . . . It always protects, always trusts. . . . Love never fails."
—1 Corinthians 13
For me, love did fail. It failed when my parents divorced. At age seven, our family vacations disappeared and parental visitations instead became part of my life. Divorce describes the beginning of a cold winter storm in my life that only increased in intensity when my parents would argue over how to raise their children. "Hilda, put him down. He is too old to be held," my dad would say, reaching for my mom's arm to release my brother.
I believed that my parents would get back together. Love would come through. And yet, my dad remarried. Where was the love that felt so right before the divorce and would it ever return? It took until the second semester of my first year at Emory to experience the kind of love from my parents that I thought they had forgotten.
I was the victim of sexual violence that semester. I remember being indecisive about whether I should tell both of them or just one of them. In my head, I calculated the reaction of each parent and which one would be there for me the most. My conclusion ended up being to tell each of them. Telling them could mean two separate solutions and the strong advice that I follow what they say. The ideal outcome would be that they come together and try to figure out what was best without arguing. I figured the latter reaction didn't have a chance.
I called both of them and told them what happened. Later that day, both arrived in Atlanta. By this time, I had left Emory and was with my aunt. For the first time in years, I watched my parents stand in the same room together and not argue. Even though both talked to me separately, they asked me what I would like to do about the situation. Neither of them told me something negative the other had said. They did not ask me to take sides. They just listened. They listened to me and how I felt. They did it. They made me feel a complete love, a love that I had not felt since they were married. They put away their differences and combined forces to offer the strongest form of love for me.
The moment that I felt my worst, my parents made me feel loved the most. Love that does away with the hurt and pain of the past and is there to solve the problems of the present is what means the most to me.
Love in the end did not fail me. It just took its sweet time to reappear.
CeCe Gilmore 12C is a sophomore majoring in international and women's studies with an interest in pre-law.She is the publicity chair for Feminists in Action and a member of the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Center for Women Advisory Council. Her activism relates to ending violence against women globally.