Our youngest contributor, Mackenzie...

I may not have known her as many years as some of the other women who share their story in our book, ‘The Path That Beckons’, but she’s the only one I can say I’ve known her entire life.  I’m pleased and proud to introduce you to our youngest contributor --  10 year old Mackenzie!

I am blessed with amazing grandchildren and I love and cherish them all.  Of those little loveys, Mackenzie is the oldest and the one who first gave me my title of Grandmother, or Grammy as I am called.

She has a tender caring soul with a smile that lights up the room.  Just over a year ago, she became interested in cooking and helping out in the kitchen.  That curiosity moved to baking – first cookies, and then cakes, where she found her passion in decorating. Last year she took on the challenge of making and decorating cakes for her grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles and cousins – 12 that I know of!

Not only did she bake and frost a cake for each, but she designed a cake around something that was personal to the person having the birthday.  It was exciting to see her walk into the house with her cake in hand, kept hidden until the big reveal.  Then the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, and sometimes even applause as her original creation was unveiled.  Mackenzie received baking tools and aprons for Christmas and her birthday from people who love her to encourage her in her new found passion.

One day I was talking on the phone with my sister, Katy, bragging a bit as Grandma’s do.  I told her how fun it was watching Mackenzie improve and have fun doing something she really loved and how much joy it brought to our family. Katy’s response made me sit back and think.

She said, “Isn’t it funny how when children or young adults try something new, everyone seems to rally around them encouraging their newfound curiosity and interest.  Yet, when we become adults and step out to do something new or unconventional, we don’t always have that loving support.  Many times we hear comments like, ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’, ‘But the job you have pays so well’, or ‘I don’t know.  Seems a little risky.’ Isn’t that sad?”  Yes, that is sad.

In that instant I knew Mackenzie was the person to share her story in the chapter “The Path of Passion”. Her childlike enthusiasm and passion for doing something she loves that puts smiles on so many faces is exactly the model we could all use in our own lives.  It doesn’t matter if we’re nine or seventy-nine.  Finding and embracing passion creates a sparkle in our eyes and a bounce in our step.  It doesn’t have to be something we lock into for life.  By next year I suppose Mackenzie will find something else that sparks her interest and she'll start exploring that.  I can’t wait to see what that is.

Thanks, Mackenzie, for reminding us in your sweet way about something very important in life.

I love you, Sweetheart.