May 24, 2022

What are your Reasons to Live?


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A year ago, I was at SeaTac airport waiting for my flight to California and scanning the books of the Elliot Bay bookstore, when my eyes landed on a memoir called Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad.

I was doing a research study in graduate school at the time on the experiences of young people who had survived cancer, and so Suleika’s memoir about her own cancer journey was of great interest to me. As I skimmed the first two chapters, her beautiful writing took ahold of my heart, and so I took her memoir home with me.

Today, Suleika Jaouad is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful, as is her life story. Battling cancer again this year, she remains connected to her life and the world through written word. Each Sunday, like many writers here on Elephant Journal and around the world, I look forward to opening my email to receive Suleika’s weekly writing prompt. I have been doing this for months now and because of it, I am on page 115 of writing my own memoir. Two weeks ago, I wrote a poem in response to Suleika’s writing prompt that read as follows:

What are your reasons to live through the apocalypse? Write in prose or poetry. 

Here is my poem:

Reasons to Live

Raindrops landing on my cheeks.


Hot coffee and creamer.



A new friend.

A new experience.

Another smile to take in.

Sunflowers and orchids.

Crispy bacon.

A good song.

Time to dance.

A kiss.

A hug.

The chance to learn more.








A cold day by a fire.

A letter.

A soul not yet met.



Brussel sprouts.

A new word.

A new language.

A conversation not yet had.


The perfect egg sandwich.

Sadness and release.



Taking in all that has yet to be experienced.

A memoir.

My memoir that’s not yet finished.


What are your reasons to live?

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