I Believe in Passion

Angela - Morehead, Kentucky
Entered on April 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death, family, legacy
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I believe in living life passionately. Passion is the expression of one’s inner soul and should be the template by which we all strive to live. Passion also transforms into optimism, an intense love and concern for all of humanity. I feel that when you live to love others, you in turn become a stronger individual.

About two years ago, my grandmother found out she had a fatal brain tumor. She was given six months to live. She had always put so much towards life, yet now, her passion towards life amplified.

During her last months, she declared “Christmas in July” so that she could celebrate it one last time with her husband, nine children and their spouses, and her 34 grandchildren. She wanted to give us everything she had to remember her by. When her condition worsened and her mind deteriorated, she sometimes turned into a grandmother that didn’t make sense, her logic clouded by the cancerous cells. She wanted to stay the active, athletic, and healthy grandmother I knew her to be. No longer could she ride her bike to the tennis courts with my grandpa every day or mow the neighbors’ lawns just for some extra cash. Yet even these breaks in her routine did not stop her from living vivaciously.

For a thrifty grandmother, I was surprised when a local pie shop became her most favorite place to go every week. During our visits she would have three different types of pie, offering us extra scoops of ice cream as well. We would sit on the front porch swing, clenching her hand in ours, knowing the loss would be unbearable. We sat there with our blackberry pie and listened to the birds chirp like it was their last day soaring through the trees. She welcomed them with opened arms and appreciated their passion, as she would disperse pounds of birdseed all over the yard, releasing it from her hands like she was Mother Nature breathing life into nature’s beauty.

Even now that she’s gone, the birds still chirp their song, zealous and convinced that life is worth singing about. I know this too because of the profound life Grandma lived, opening her heart to her family and to God when she died quietly with her children at her bedside, assuring her that they would continue to live out her message.

I could write a novel about how I find fragments of her life still living within and around me today, and perhaps maybe someday I will. Yet in the end, written or not, the optimism for which she lived speaks its own story. Indeed, passion is the root for what has made her memory so strong. I believe passion’s spirit is strung through each note of a bird’s tune and drives us all to soar. It is with this genuine and happy attitude that compels me to strive to live life entirely, completely, and fervently. Passion should be the core of one’s life. This I believe.