The Secret of Life

Kids feet infront of a fire

Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…


Click the play button to listen to Francis Pass tell this story.


What’s the secret of life? Hang on. I’ll tell ya in a minute.

But first… Don’t you just love this time of year?

I certainly do.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Coming home to a decorated tree, seeing the lights, the smells from the kitchen… I truly treasure the season.

kids feet infront of a christmas fire

It’s around this time of year that my wife, Patricia, has all the grandkids over to the house to make pies. Lots of pumpkin, pecan, cherry, and, if I’m lucky, at least one mincemeat pie. That one’s for me. I may be the only man left in America who enjoys mincemeat… and that’s fine, because it means more pie for me.

Anyway, Patricia has a ball cooking with the grandkids. They all chip in to help and each one gets to take home a pie of their making. They take so much pride in their work. They shout, “I made that!” and “That one’s mine!”

And I eagerly await the phone call from the kitchen with a young, sweet voice saying, “PoPo, can you come home for pie, coffee, and conversation?”

The answer is always, “Yes! I’ll be right there!”

Did I mention I love this time of year?

kids feet infront of a fire

The holiday season is a time of smiling faces, warm hearts, and family. That last one isn’t always easy when you have a heating and air company. It’s our busy season here at the big yellow shop… but even when we’re inundated with calls, we do our darndest to make sure our guys and gals get home to spend some time with the ones who love them most.

And that, my friends, in my humble opinion, is the secret of life – Spending time with your loved ones. The relationships we forge and stories we share will live on long after we’ve shuffled off this mortal coil.

And I’m not just talking about the relationships with our family here on earth… but also the relationship with our Father, who art in heaven.

After the grandkids leave and the oven’s cooled, I turn off all the other lights in the house and gaze at the twinkling tree. If you happen by my home at that moment, you’ll likely hear me having a little talk with the Man Upstairs.

kids feet infront of a fire

I often think about the time I have left here on this earth… and the impact I’m making on my children and grandchildren.

What lessons can I teach them? What stories can I share? Will they one day be standing in a dark room, staring at a shimmering tree, and talking to God?

I certainly hope so.

Even when the Christmas lights come down… one light remains. And I’m gonna shine that light as long as I can for all the world to see.

I hope you will, too.

Thanks for readin’/listenin’…..

Francis Pass.

a house lit up with snow falling on christmas

P.S. Speaking of lights… when’s the last time you paid a visit to Candy Cane Lane in West Frankfort? It’s been far too long for me. Who knows… maybe I’ll see you there.