Finding A Passion
Looking at him you couldn’t tell that his father and stepmother had been brutally murdered nor you couldn’t tell that he watched his brother get taken away by AIDS. Sam looks ordinary that had gone through life’s extra-ordinary events. My father-in-law’s outlook in life is affirming.
An avid surfer at age 57, he not only totes his surfboard around but his four grandchildren accessorize my father-in-law. Surfing a renewed passion he acquired back from his son, I believe, gave Sam a place of refuge. It is this passion that has allowed my father-in-law triumph over life’s betrayals symbolically to wiping out on a ride only to fall harder than the previous ride and get up in time to catch the next best wave ever. Surfing is not a hobby but considered as a vocation and passing on this love has enriched our lives with families and friends.
I believe having a passion that you truly love can serve as a cushion when we face grief or disappointment in life. When words of advice from those that care cannot at times console the emotional pain, it is the ‘passion’ of surfing or painting or whatever it may be for an individual that brings one’s heartache back to contentment.
Passion was non-existence when I was growing up. As a woman, I had a permanent status according to my culture. I was to grow up and acquiesce to my parents needs and secondly to my brothers. My family dismissed my goals and dreams. When I failed school, I did not know how to cope. I did not have an outlet. It wasn’t until I came into my husband’s family that I learned of having a passion. They were full of talent. I was intimidated and jealous at first but eventually grew to accept that having a passion is not a form of disobedience but an extension to self and having joy in your life.
My father-in-law would see us through both the imperfections and beauty of my marriage. It is because of him I learned how not to judge. It is also through my father-in-law’s fervor for justice that I would become a better parent. To pursuit the truth untethered by prejudice and pre-formed mores. I would learn how to heal by finding passion and overcome difficulties by arming myself with a prayer. He carries the conviction of the love for God and my father-in-law incessantly teaches moral principles to his grandchildren. My children’s strong admiration for their father is reinforced by the guidance of their grandfather and I seek opportunities to repay my father-in-law for teaching me how not forego life without a passion that negative past experiences cannot be transformed from idleness and to forgive as he did during his darkest moments.
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