"Passing the Test" In loving memory of...

"Michael B. Leaf"                                                                               A man who understood the importance of life's journey, are in the passions we find along the way" -Catherine Capra-Leaf      

As we approach the Easter holiday I'd like to remember all my friend and their families who have suffered loss of some kind. Whether it is a passing of a loved one, a divorce, or any significant life crisis that may leave you a bit speechless or have put a hole in your spirit.

The Easter story is one of passion.  The Christian community celebrates God's infinite  passion for his children.  The death of his son, became the life of his people. 
I have just begun to understand this thing called "passion".  Webster describes the word passion as intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction. It's what makes us all truly important in this world. 

Mike Leaf spent the last years of his life pondering this concept of "passion".  A corporate man with a couple of blackberries , a golf club in his hand on Saturday mornings, and his children by his side whenever he could get them to stick there. As life started to change dramatically for us, one of the thoughts on his mind was his inability to find a passion for something.  Art, hobbies..something? An epiphany movement for him,  and he felt a hole in his heart because of it.  Something was stirring in him prophetically. 

As our lives started changing dramatically, and he became unable to work.  He started to volunteer at a detention center, teaching math to young men working on their GED.  My friends, the man found his passion, and his compassion.  He never spoke of the inmates accept to say, "They are really working hard to become better people, I owe a lot to them for teaching me more than I teach them."

A year or so later, on a warm and beautiful April day, a memorial service was held for a very compassionate man...who found his passion. The line was very long, hundreds of people hugging me, and supporting my family. At the very end of the line were two young men dressed in suits that were a size or so too big.They had tattoos on their necks and arms, and deep stories in their eyes.  I did not recognize them, but as soon as I looked at them, I knew who they were.  I smiled and tears came to my eyes.  They were "The people working hard to become better people" that he loved so much.   I looked at them and grabbed them both and said, "Thank you for coming, you meant the world to him"  One of the men with deep steel blue eyes, hugged me back hard.  "Ma'am, we just wanted to let you know....we passed the test" and they both smiled. "Yay!, I am so very glad you came".  He had done it..he had made a difference and I was so blessed that these to young men came to tell me. 

My Easter wish for you is to find your passion..don't look too far away...because chances are, it's right under you nose.   Happy Easter
"Catherine Capra-Leaf"

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About the Author
A Catherine Capra-Leaf Catherine is a life long resident of Minnesota. She graduated from Mariner High school in White Bear Lake,Mn in 1976, and attended the University of Minnesota: Duluth. She was married in 1979 to Michael Leaf, and has three daughters, Jennifer, Kimberly, and Heather. She has worked in the White Bear lake Public Schools as a paraprofessional for 23 years, working with special education students. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, walking, and her new found love of writing. After the death of her husband, she works diligently at helping others who are experiencing difficult life circumstances to find strength, power, and bravery, is a main focus of her life now. She continues to write stories to inspire and encourage people to find healing in their own lives.
Helping The Bereaved