What I believe in is diversity—in this day and age we need to come
together and accept one another for each others differences. All my life I have
been taught to accept others and appreciate the good in everyone even if the
good is hard to find. One person in particular really helped me to see that no
matter how religious or how different your beliefs are from someone, you can
still love others and their own unique beliefs as well.
My step grandmother Nonnie was one of the most amazing people I had
ever met. Smiling and gleaming with joy, you would think she’s never had a sad
day in her life. Nonnie is a sun—she is always happy and shining. She
never stops shining; you just cant see her all the time. Not only was she always
happy, but she had a close relationship with everyone in the family, and this was
a big family. She even made friends with everyone she met. I was almost as if
she never ran into a stranger. This made me start to think…I want to be known
as a “Nonnie” when I’m older. So how will I do this? I will love everyone for them
and accept them for who they are. I will make and effort to make friends and
meet new people everywhere I go.
As Nonnie became older she began to develop congestive heart failure
and began to feel pain from a car accident she had been in when she was 30
years old. The doctor told her she would never be able to walk again, but with a
positive attitude she proved that doctor wrong. When I heard that Nonnie was
in the hospital I became very worried, but hoped and prayed for the best.
Unfortunately she passed away about a week and a half of being in the hospital,
and I was crushed.
While I was avoiding my grandma’s casket, many people were walking up
to see her. This was my first wake I had been to because I am Jewish and
Jewish people don’t have wakes. I wasn’t sure how I would cope with going up
there, but then I was told that if I get the chance to go and look at her I probably
should. Supposedly there was something special to see. Nonnie, a devout
catholic, held her rosary in her hands. But then I noticed her holding something
else. It was my yarmulke from my bat mitzvah; something Jewish people wear
on their heads in honor of G-d. She was holding it. Just her rosary and my
yarmulke. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and I didn’t know what to do.
Smiling and crying, I just walked away.
This experience made me realize that no matter what different beliefs
and personalities people have, you have to just see things as they are. I think
everyone in the world should have a “Nonnie” and learn from him/her. I learned
that no matter how frustrated I am with someone, or if maybe I don’t really like
someone so much that I have to think about the situation they may be in and
just accept it.
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