Carli - Chesterfield, Missouri
Entered on February 5, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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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.