One of my earliest childhood memories is of a sweet voice reading sweet words to me from a simple children’s book. The voice belonged to my grandmother and the words were ones of pure love. As for the book, its title is Love You Forever and its memorable blue cover has followed me from childhood to my young adulthood, saving me repeatedly.

A child may not be able to comprehend the notion or importance of unconditional love but the comfort linked to it is easily understood and craved, love is a universal language after all. The affection my grandma held for me then was easily found within her every action, her hugs and excitement to see me, spending her nights watching movies with me, and of course, reading to me my favorite, little book. The words “I’ll love you forever/ I’ll like you for always/ As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be”, will forever invoke the purest, most childlike feelings of love and happiness. This love and understanding between my grandma and I is so important, and has become an important lifeline in times of trial.

Eventually, like we all do, I grew up and my memory of the book faded. My relationship with my grandmother did not fade, however, circumstances caused us both to move away from our home state of Arizona. While she was in Texas for work, my family was in Ohio to be an aid for my aunt during a hard time in her life. There I was, crammed in a house with ten other people, living in a state I’d never been to before, and on the other side of the country from everything and everyone I knew. It was, to say the least, difficult for me at 13 to cope with. My parents tried to make the best of it by taking day trips and getting occasional treats.

One small day trip in particular had us on the road to a little town I can’t remember the name of. As we explored, we found a quaint little bakery that sold donuts, so of course we went in. As my dad ordered, I found myself in the corner where there were some dusty books shelved up next to a fireplace. I glanced at the books and one blue cover caught my eye. At this point in my life, I was struggling to find peace or any kind of comfort. I know my family was doing their best but everyone was struggling to feel loved. This is the moment where I realized the importance of not only nostalgia but that eternal love I keep mentioning. All the warm, gushy feelings hit me at once as I pulled the familiar book from the shelf.

This book, on a dusty bookshelf, in a small bakery in Ohio had just changed my life, all because of the love a grandma has for her grandchild. To be brought back to such a perfect feeling of love in the midst of my unending depression was so staggering. This sudden change from despair to hope changed my life and my outlook from there forward. I was going to be okay because no matter what I did or who I became, there is someone out there who will always love me. This thought carried me through trials throughout my life to this point. Everyone needs somebody to love them without conditions. This is the reason for some people’s cruelty and others kindness, and I understand that now. This is why I will always choose kindness. This is my humanities moment.

– Hailey Rogers (1 High School Senior)