Saturday, 9 February 2013

What is Your Legacy?

    My grandmother passed away last week.  She was 91 years old.  I have often said that Grandma lived that long because she never slowed down long enough for death to catch up to her.  Dad would tell me about how Grandma had hurt herself falling off of a ladder while she painted her apartment, that was two years ago.  She was this tiny little lady (perhaps 4 foot 11) and the last time I was speaking to her she told me that she weighed 80 pounds (she was about the same size as one of my twins, maybe smaller).  She was this little lady who loved Coke, and who had a great laugh.  
   91 years is a long time on this earth.  I would like to say that she lived a good life, but I honestly don't know if she did.  I really don't know anything about her.  What I know about her is that she raised my Dad, and  I know that my Dad is a good man, and has always been a good father to my sister and I. My Dad is the most amazing grandfather to my children.  I am very thankful to my grandmother for this.
    This all has me wondering how I will be remembered when I am gone.  This sounds very morbid, but I know just how fragile life is.  It comes as no surprise that a 91 year old woman would pass away.  It is not expected that a healthy 9 year old boy would die, but he did... life is fragile.  More importantly than how I will be remembered is the question, "How do I want to be remembered?"
    "How do I want to be remembered?"  This is a big question.  It is important because it makes me ask myself how I act towards my children, towards the world.  I know what my self perception is, but is it the same as everyone elses?  I want my children when they think of me to remember me as being strong, but not hard.  I want them to look at the things that I have come through.  I get pushed down, but I get back up.  I am strong, but I would like to think that I am not bitter, that I had a big heart.  I want them to remember how much I loved them, I want them to carry my love around with them like an invisible sweater.  I want them to remember that I did not take garbage from anyone, but I also did not throw garbage at anyone.  I want them to remember that they could always trust me.  I'm o.k. if they laugh and think about what a goof I am, if they do, then I've done my job.  I don't want them to make me into a villain, nor do I want to be remembered as a saint.  I want them to remember me as a flawed person who loved them desperately.  I want them to remember the sacrifices that I made for them, and not feel badly, but be better because of them.  If I am doing my job right, living my life right, then they will remember me with love.  Above everything else I want my children to remember my love for them.  I want love to be my legacy.

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