One of my favorite things to do as a child was to read, I read every book I could get my hands on. I remember one year in elementary school, I read over 330 books, impossible you say? Well, not for me! I won an award that year and presented it to my Opa, who was so proud of me. Whenever I made decisions, I would think of my Opa – honestly, my entire goal in life as a young person was for him to be proud of his kleine meisje. One of the things I respect most about my Opa’s generation was their determination to make something beautiful come out of something painful and ugly.

There are a couple of things I will never forget about him. One being his favorite song “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. I recall many instances where my Opa would put that song on and dance, encouraging us to do the same. I would roll my eyes and think he was so silly but what it taught me many years later is something I will never forget. He would do anything in his power to never give up, to always push forward despite any obstacle he faced. I feel like I am an ‘eternal optimist’ because despite any negative situation I have had to endure – I will never give up. Yes, I have had moments where I felt like things were so tough that I felt it was difficult to carry on; however, in spirituality, love, relationships, etc. I always end up seeing that things will get better.

The second thing I remember, is that every morning before school my Opa would wake us up and the first thing we had to do was punch our fist in the air and say “I FEEL GREAT!” I cannot tell you how many times I whined and complained but again, it is a memory I cherish. My Opa wanted us to start our day with a positive thought and for that, I am eternally grateful. You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with this blog. Well, my love for reading eventually turned into a love of writing. It allows me to put into writing thoughts and feelings that words could never express. Having a part in creating this blog is another creative outlet for me. I hope that you will be able to relate to some of the posts that are written by myself and the other contributors and share comments/suggestions with us. If there are topics that you would love to see discussed, feel free to let us know that as well.