Something that I treasure and will carry around for the rest of my life is my necklace that is silver with a blood red poppy flower on it that is a symbol for a fallen soldier in Normandy during World War ll. It reminds me of the exact moment when I realized just how precious my life and family really are and when I found my spark. For awhile I had been feeling lost and I didn’t really have anything driving me to want to live my life to the fullest it could be; I was missing my spark. While I was on my trip in France over the summer though, I met this frail elderly lady who changed my life forever. The little story she told me completely transformed me and who I am today.
At the cemetery, the snowy white crosses in the ground are as far as the eye can see. The smell of gorgeous flowers surrounds the whole area so you can hear the buzzing of the bees as the process of pollination takes place. The clicking of cameras capturing this tragic beauty was evident too. Along the edge of this place that will forever be one of the most historically impacting for the United States, you can see the peaceful beaches that were war zones many years ago. The water is crystal blue and makes me wonder how something so awful and dangerous could have taken place in this exact spot when there is an essence of tranquility all around. As I walk through, I see this elderly lady with an ear to ear smile on her face, as salty tears drip down her cheeks. She could be happy, sad, or anything in between. Should I go talk to her? What do I do?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always needed to make sure people are ok if they seem upset. My thoughts were booming in my head and I had butterflies fluttering around in my stomach as I approached the lady to ask her what’s wrong. She greeted me with this radiant smile but yet, she still cried. With pain in her eyes, she looked right through me like I was a ghost. Her cheeks were flushed and I could hear the sniffles in her voice as she told me what was going on. It was the first time in her whole life that she had been able to visit her father’s grave because she had never had enough money to come. That hit me like a ton of bricks! I couldn’t imagine growing up without my dad or my mom. The fact that she had to endure this pain for so long was crazy. The tears of joy that streamed down her face is something that I am going to remember forever. Even throughout all of the sadness and heavy heartedness that this place must hold for her, she still managed to find that peace and closure that’s been missing.
I had no idea that a total of five minutes would be able to forever impact my life and the way I view things. In order to process what had just happened, my brain was on overdrive. It probably looked like shredded cheese because my thoughts and emotions were all over the place. As a result of this lady’s story, it really got me thinking about how precious my family really is to me. They are the ones who get me through all the good times and all of the bad. Whenever I need reminding to not take my family for granted I think about the best day I ever had with my them. It was late spring, and the cheers from University of Michigan football stadium could be heard for miles. The crowd that bled maize and blue critically watched the game looking for new potential that could start successfully on the team for the season. While my family and I watched the game, we also just enjoyed each other’s company. The constant laughter that I had hurt my stomach so bad that I thought I was going to explode! My smile never left my face and we were just content to be all together. It’s a simple memory but definitely one that will stick with me hopefully forever. Whenever I need to remember to not take them for granted, I will think about that day and how if each and every member of my family hadn’t have been there, it wouldn’t have been the same. My family means everything to me and because of my necklace and this fantastic lady who I met while on my trip, that won’t ever be forgotten.
Unfortunately I never got the lady’s name. She will always be known to me as the person who gave me my spark back. At first every single word she told me just shattered my heart, but in the end, weirdly enough, it glued my heart back together better than how it ever was before I went through this incredibly emotional experience. Her story and everything she had been through gave me a reason to go back to being driven in my life. It helped me realize that life isn’t just about you, it’s about the ones you love and sometimes the ones you don’t have anymore. Many people have it way worse than I ever have and I should never take that for granted. I finally found my spark and I’m going to use it to live my life to the fullest. This is the memory that I will carry on for the rest of my life!