It is powdered donut day. It is hard to believe it is the fifth powdered donut day. Powdered donut day is a ritual, just like the ritual of spring break that we are about to finish or the ritual of making Maureen’s tea and lunch each weekday morning or the Eagle Scout ritual that we just celebrated with my nephew, Joshua Gable. Rituals are incredibly important; they mark moments, just like we use time itself to mark moments. Outside of the rising and setting of the sun, time itself is a human construct. We use it to mark moments.
On Monday this past week, we marked a moment. Joshua, Taylor’s cousin, just a month younger, received this important award in the life of a young man. It is the highest award from the Boy Scouts of America. It marks a unique set of boys. Only 4 percent of boys that join the BSA reach this rank. I reached it as a young man. My son, Taylor, is on his own path to Eagle. When Joshua’s Eagle court of honor coincided with our spring break, there was no question. We would make the drive to the Gables in Chattanooga to celebrate this moment. As folks that follow our story know, we are road trip people. We had the privilege of celebrating Joshua’s Eagle, a well deserved recognition, and we got to drive!!
Just being with Maureen’s sister this week, as well as with her mom and dad, who also drove up from South Carolina, reminded me how privileged I am. I not only married an amazing woman. I married an amazing family. The Diercxsens (Maureen’s maiden name) are special people. They know passion. They know love. They know laughter. They know donuts. You simply can’t spend more than a day with this amazing clan without laughing, without being happy, without being passionate. For goodness sake, this is the sister-in-law and family that makes a Dolly Parton cookie at Christmas… and by the way, Dominique, after last year’s Dolly Parton cookie, it looks like she has had some work recently! Without Dominique being in Austin at Maureen’s passing, I would not have gotten through the week. Her talents go far beyond the Dolly Parton cookie… far, far beyond. She and her family came together last October to mark a moment, a moment filled with sadness, yet a moment filled with love, love for the beautiful Maureen with whom I had the joy and privilege of welcoming Taylor, Kyla and Katelyn into the world, three new sparks of passion.
This is the same family that includes Suzanne, my other sister-in-law, who lives in Seattle. This is the Suzanne who lived 365 days of “I Nevers.” This is the Suzanne who honors her “Backwards Family.” This is the Suzanne that lives life to the fullest each and every day and brings out the best in her children, Nadine and Miles, and her husband, Todd. Even if she is just “leaning on the balcony railing,” she is probably “holding the universe together,” as J.D. Salinger wrote in the Catcher in the Rye. She puts the Fa Shizzle, the passion, into life. If you enjoy the Love of My Life, you would enjoy Suzanne Jumps, her blog. I know I do. One of Suzanne’s passions is making pillows. She makes great ones. I think passion has a lot to do with following your heart, which is why I am using a photo of one of her pillows, from the Tin Man, as my image for this Love of My Life.
I could write a lot more about passion, but I will let my recorded voice finish the story on this, the fifth powdered donut day. This quote from Suzanne’s blog post, “Is That Fa Shizzle?” jumped out at me. You will understand why when you watch my short 3 minute interview on passion:
When was the last time your own possibilities gave you goosepimples?
As I say in my interview, “The Love of My Life | Following Your Passion,” I think passion is the goosepimples you feel on the inside. This interview on passion was recorded at Casis Elementary School in Austin, Texas, just before spring break. Jimmy Agnew and the UniSaders were in the gym next door teaching kids there at Casis how to ride unicycles. Jimmy was Katelyn’s 2nd grade teacher, and he is following his passion. As he notes in his vision on the new site, One Wheel Many Children, “We understand that it’s not about preparing the path for the child, but about preparing the child for the path. And we believe in enjoying life’s ride.”
The video of my interview at Vimeo is raw right now. It hasn’t been edited yet for any other use. It is my heart. It is my beliefs and stories on passion. Jimmy has brought out my daughter, Katelyn’s passion, just like Maureen’s mom and dad brought out the passion in each of their daughters, Maureen, Suzanne and Dominique. Maureen not only brought out my passion, but she brought out my essence. She brought out my bubbles and the powder of my love. I will keep sprinkling that love, each and every day, until I have the joy of rejoining her in heaven. Until then, I will keep pedaling on life’s ride. Find your passion and keep pedaling on your own. That is passion, and one by one, together, we can change the world.