The Passion Lesson: What Losing My Son and My Mom Taught Me About Living a Life You Love


In 2008, I received the phone call no parent wants to get. My son wasn’t breathing. After Life Flight and 2 emergency rooms, I had to explain to my other children that their brother wouldn’t be walking through the front door anymore. Not a day has passed that I’ve not wished we had more time together. Fast forward to this year. October 31. I held my mom as she drew her final breath in her cancer battle. My tiny sparrow flew Home. At times, I walk into that room and stand there feeling lost. Going back to that last place I saw her smile at me. Again, longing for more time. I am telling you this for 2 reasons: 1- because life is a gift and if you’re not living it the way you really want to, it’s time to do something about that. And 2 – because Zarse (my son) and my mom shared a common trait; they each had a passion. His was baseball and hers was running a restaurant. I believe you have a passion too, even if you have no clue what it is. 

As children, we were genius in that regard. We gravitated towards what we really loved, giving no thought to how employable those things made us or how much money we’d gain if we did something else. Then, somewhere along the journey, someone convinced us to be someone else. To make safer choices. That dream chasing is for the wealthy and the irresponsible. And that work is supposed to be miserable and hard. After all, you get weekends to live the life you want, what more can you ask for? A lot more, actually.

As Autumn leans into Winter, there’s a natural stillness. It is a perfect time for reflection and listening to your inner voice (If you struggle with hearing your inner voice clearly, this free audio course can help with that). As you look within, consider how it would feel to reach a place where all you wanted was more time. Time to do what really matters. If you don’t like the way that feels, do something about it. Even tiny steps in the right direction feel liberating and new. And if you get stuck when you think of trying to connect with your passion, there are other ways to come to it. I'm sharing one way in today’s Journal Prompt at the end of this post. Give it a try. Maybe give it ten tries. Do whatever it takes to live the life you want to live because time is a precious privilege.

My mom and my son are laid to rest next to each other. While it breaks my heart to have lost them, I know they lived with all their hearts. My son was outside at the crack of dawn, pitching baseballs at pizza boxes he tied to the fence. My mom was at her restaurant at the wee hours and when her regular customers came in, she talked with them and laughed so hard you couldn’t help but smile, too. They had a blast and people gravitated toward them because their passion was contagious. I want that in my life. I want to use every ounce of passion God gave me. I want to live every inch of my life. To laugh from the depths of my belly and love what I’ve created. 

2-Minute Takeaway (Journal Prompt): Think back to a time when you felt truly happy and alive. What were you doing? Who were you around? How did you feel, specifically? Where were you? What made it amazing? Be as detailed as you can. Do this process with as many happy times as you can recall. Do it once a day for 2 minutes at a time. When you have several of these journal entries, look back through them and circle any common themes you notice. Look in these themes for your passion.