Living Life Passionately

What is it about finding out that an old classmate in high school died that makes you feel your mortality? Today I popped on to my Facebook only to be greeted by a message on our High School’s memorial page that a former classmate, one I didn’t even know that well, passed away. Not even 40…and the second one to die suddenly within the last year or so (the last one died of a brain aneurysm and I was pretty good friends with his twin brother).

Being a modern girl, I googled him…wondering what happened. My former classmate, Chris, died due to head injuries he’d sustained in a fall while hiking in a state park in Arizona with his dog. I wondered…was he alone when he fell? How long did it take for someone to find him?

This also choked at me, though, because around 20 years ago, another friend…Allison…went hiking with her boyfriend and some other friends…also in a state park…this time in Tennessee. They were jumping over a ravine. Alli, always the athletic type, went to make the jump. She slipped and fell backwards and she fell. She was 19 or 20 years old…nothing anyone could’ve done.

Normally, things like this would weigh heavily on my heart…(I’m often a deep river playing at being a rippling brook) But this time is a bit different. Is it tragic that these folks died way too young? Absolutely. But you know…they died doing something they enjoyed…something they were passionate about! They didn’t sit around waiting for life to happen. They reached out and grabbed it by the horns!

I still remember back in the early 90’s, getting a call from my cousin in Michigan on a Saturday at around 8am. Calls from family that early never bode well, so I answered quickly. It was my oldest cousin, Anita.

Anita: Hey cuz.
Me: Hey…
Anita: So I’ve got some news about Grandma.
Me: Oh, gosh (Grandpa and my Great grandmother had just passed away back to back in the last year).
Anita: Take a breath…she’s ok.
Me: Well, geez! You could’ve started like that instead of almost giving me a heart attack.
Anita: Well, I thought you should know…she’s in the hospital.
Me: Why?
Anita: She broke her hip.
Me: (having grown up around hospitals you kind of know that broken hips on the seniors isn’t good) Oh my gosh! What happened?
Anita: Apparently she was country line dancing and slipped!
Me: (laughing) Oh, gosh! That’s awesome. Leave it to Grandma. Most people her age do that getting out of bed.
Anita: Yeah, she’s kind of bad ass!

Our grandmother finally passed away in her late 80’s, surrounded by family. But you know what stuck with me? She DID things! She didn’t wait for life to pass her by. She enjoyed life. She cherished her friends and family. She wasn’t afraid to keep learning new things regardless of how old she was! (She was in her 70’s when that hip was broken)

Life is too short. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are… Dreams are there to be chased…how else will you ever be able to catch them? If you want to learn to do something…don’t let something like age or fear or embarrassment stop you. Go for it with all you’ve got! Make the life you have one worth living. Too many people die with “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” and blame everyone but themselves. The truth may be hard to swallow, but the only stumbling blocks we have are the ones we put out there.

What things have you been holding yourself back from doing? What dreams do you have for yourself? How can we help you attain them?

I’m feeling a bit feisty now…so I’ve turned to Billy Idol for help…He knows how to let out that Rebel Yell!

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47 thoughts on “Living Life Passionately

  1. prewitt1970 says:

    Yay, Billy Idol brings back memories. And your great for posting this, I couldn’t agree more about chasing your dreams, I wish for me it didn’t take PD to come visit for me to get off my ass and start making life happen instead of being something that happened to me.
    Namaste
    Benjamin

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      You know, life is also too short to look back with regret too often. It doesn’t change things…:-) So the thing we can be thankful for is that at least it got you “off your ass”. 🙂 You know I mean that with love…

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Oddly, though I was momentarily sad, it was also empowering knowing at least he was doing something he enjoyed. I think I’d rather go that way than high blood pressure or stress related issues due to being stuck doing things I don’t love…

  2. denmother says:

    OMG! Billy Idol was my idol in my teens. Talk about grabbing life by the horns and going for it, the only thing I ever shoplifted in my life was a Billy Idol pin off a guy selling them on the street. Rebel Yell!!!!!!!

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Go you! And I think he was an awesome example of grabbing life by the horns. 🙂 His arm dance was easy to learn, too…unlike Michael Jackson’s full body contortions that just looked like seizures when “normal” people tried it. 🙂

  3. Sheri de Gromm says:

    Your post turned my thoughts to my parents. My mother had open heart surgery four times and each time, the doctor sent her home with orders to not do much. Each time she lived her life just the way she wanted. She passed while planting flowers in one of her many gardens. I was 12 years after her 4th open heart surgery. My father was diagnosed with advanced melanoma at age 88 and told to get his affairs in order. He was still riding horseback and counting his cattle when he died of a heart attack at age 94. He always said that when he went, he’d be in the saddle, and he was. I’m doing my best to live life, although not in their footsteps, but by the principles they lived by. [Each day could be the last. Your responsibilities are: 1. Praise the Lord and give thanksgiving. 2. Learn something brand new. and 3. Help someone less fortunate than you.] I strive to these standards. Sometimes I fall short and try again the next day.

  4. Mae Clair says:

    My mother went dancing with her sisters at nightclubs every week until she was in her early 80s.. She drove until she was 85 and passed away in June at 89. I contrast that to one of my closest friends in high school who died was she was in her mid 30s of lung cancer. We lost touch and I didn’t find out about it until five years after she’d passed. I still remember what a blow it was and how it messed me up for days afterward. I so regret that we didn’t keep in touch as we got older. Friends, as well as family, are precious.

  5. filbio says:

    It always hits home when someone you know in your age bracket passes away. Life is too short. I still party, go to rock concerts, train hard in the gym, etc. You just gotta go for it and live life! Rebel Yell for sure! \m/

  6. Jessica says:

    Billy is the man and you have such wonderful points. It’s not about how long anyone lives, but how much they live. I always go back to the Crocodile Hunter… that man lived the life he loved everyday and as sad as his death was, I truly believe he wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Great post and a great reminder to live with passion!

  7. ramblingsfromamum says:

    I’m often a deep river playing at being a rippling brook…this is such a beautiful line – would you mind me using it?
    This made me so sad….really. I thought of my parents in their 80’s. Mum has been the stay at home (cannot drive) ‘dad the worker’ kinda girl all her life, not being able to write a cheque, not being able to use the computer (her doing not any fault of Pops) It made me think what would she have changed about her life if she could. They idolise each other – don’t get me wrong… but she probably wishes she could have done more with her life… Kitt a lovely heart-felt post and one that makes you think..certainly about your bucket list. Mine? I have so many things…probably none that will be achieved…. teary so going
    xx

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! You are definitely welcome to use it!
      As for your parents…I’m sorry my post made you sad. And if mum is still around, maybe there are still a thing or two that you ban help teach her. It may be something as simple as getting online. Tablets make that much simpler for older folk than computers do…
      As for your dreams…I’m not sure what they may be, but I’m sure you must have some smaller ones that get put off for “later”… I simply pose to you…why not now? 🙂
      ::hugs::

  8. wordsurfer says:

    So true, all of what you say, and I wonder (again) why we all agree to this all the time and then just go back to what we know, which usually isn’t what we agree on being the right thing to do after reading a blog post like yours or a similar story. WTF is holding us back doing the thing we know to be the right thing?

      • wordsurfer says:

        Yeah… I’m going with fear. But isn’t it ironic that we’re aware that fear is holding us back and acknowledge it and think/write/talk about how it’s holding us back, and yet we still let it rule us? I hate that about myself, that I don’t act on my knowledge. 🙂

  9. amadiex says:

    We are our own worst enemies…..You are very right that we put out the obstacles and out of every one the one we placed is usually the hardest to overcome…
    Sorry if that didnt make sense just leaving work

  10. Jane Sadek says:

    I used to wear a perfume called No Regrets. I’ll be honest with you, it wasn’t the best scent I’d ever sniffed, but I loved the name. They don’t make the perfume anymore, but I still try to spray a little of that attitude on each morning.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I love that! A friend once bought me a perfume called “Forget-Me-Not” back when we were in Jr High. I loved the name, too. I try to spray on a little bit of the attitude as well by reminding myself to do something good for someone else. Make yourself someone worth remembering. 🙂

  11. Audrey says:

    Great post! You’ve nailed this perfectly, we only have the one life and might as well make sure it’s well-used and enjoyed to the fullest. Thanks for the reminder to keep living big. 🙂

  12. Ray Colon says:

    Hi Kitt,

    While I’m still saddened when I learn of a former classmate’s passing, it’s not as shocking as it used to be when we were all much younger. Those first few deaths that occurred within a couple of years after graduation were the most numbing.

    I won’t go as far as to say that there are no external roadblocks, but I agree that the impetus to try new things has to come from within. I’m in my fifties, but I often tell people that I’m 20 on the inside — my mind has just gotten started!Trying new adventures keeps us young at heart and active of mind.

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