This I Believe

Leah - Lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in details. No matter how big or small, they are what sets life apart and makes it unique. Even the smallest detail can make a world of difference. I won’t remember everything. Nobody lives forever, but memories and traditions last and are carried on.

My grandmother has been the greatest influence in my life. She was a woman who did not allow the pressures of life prevent her from doing the things that mattered most to her. She was kind and caring and gave back to the community. She always put others before herself. She never said anything to break another person down. I have never known anyone to say a harsh word about her, nor do I know of anyone that came across her path whose life was not touched. She was down to earth, fearless, and independent. She was not afraid of having a race with me in Costco using rolling desk chairs as our mode of transportation throughout the store. She was an adult, with adult responsibilities and obligations, but she had a child-like spirit.

Everything these days is too hectic; people are always rushing. No one takes a moment to just breathe. Life is on a schedule. I don’t want to live my life like that. I want to take the time to garden, and catch fireflies, and look at bugs with my children and grandchildren, just as she did. I want to be remembered as compassionate and kind and laid back. I want to be remembered for my positive outlook on life. I want to inspire people, just as my grandmother continues to inspire me.

My grandmother did have her fair share of obstacles and hard times, but she overcame them. They made her stronger, they helped shape who she was, but they never soured her attitude towards life. She learned life lessons and passed them on to me. But the most valuable lessons I gained are the ones I got just from watching her. She taught me to love. She taught me not to worry too much. She taught me to trust in God; to be able to laugh at myself. Not to take myself too seriously, and how important it is to lead by example; always help others before you help yourself. And when the going gets rough it will all work itself out, but sitting down with a can of Dr. Pepper and a Snickers bar never hurt anyone.

I wouldn’t trade my memories for anything in the world, because then I wouldn’t be me. Catching fireflies with us at dusk; the endless collection of cowboy Santa’s; her pride in being a Texan; her amazing chicken fried steak; having pancakes and cereal for dinner…often. These are the things I’ll remember; these are the memories that I will cherish forever. These are what matter most to me. I believe that the heart of life is good, and it is details like these that make life enjoyable.