“He accepted the challenges no matter how difficult and severe they were. He moved on with his life. He fought the fight and kept on keeping on. When things go wrong in your lives, remember him and the example he lived out. That is his lasting gift and legacy to all of you.”
Sweet words written to me and my family about my dad after his death in 2015. When I came across them again a few weeks ago they resonated in my heart even stronger. Legacy…a word that carries such depth of meaning that it is almost indescribable. We write our own legacies day after day with every choice we make and every word we speak.
Lately I’ve been pondering what my legacy will be. What will I be remembered for? What will you be remembered for?
There are a variety of legacies we can ponder…consider the “Family Church Pew” Legacy. Generations of a family have sat in the same pew as long as anyone can remember. Oh, but pity the visitor who doesn’t know about the “legacy” and sits in that particular pew. When Great Grandmother Martha shows up to sit in “her” pew it is a standoff like that of the famed OK Corral!
There are families with generations of a certain career or trade. Military, firemen, law enforcement, doctors, attorneys, etc. My husband’s paternal grandfather was a cement finisher.
All four of his sons were involved in cement work, masonry, plaster, and stone work in one form or another. My husband grew up working for his father in the masonry business, but made that difficult break to pursue his own career.
Which is the perfect lead-in to tell you my Gary is a gearhead, a car and motorcycle nut deluxe. He owns his own auto-body business and has ridden motorcycles since he was 16. Our son, Casey, a PDR tech (Paintless Dent Repair ) owns his own business and has ridden motorcycles since he was 16. This is his son, Remington David…
Need I say more?
I’m climbing up on a soapbox for a moment about legacies of omission and cowardice. In September of 2015, an elderly woman who chose not to wear her prescription glasses, turned in front of my husband riding his motorcycle. We thank Jesus every day he was not killed or injured worse than he was. But the fact remains he sustained a life-altering injury to his right hand.
If your parents or grandparents have become hazards on the road…please, please do the right thing and intervene. I had to do it with my dad. In fact, when I knew he was driving (without a license and with an erratic seizure disorder) I would go to our local police department, let them know what was happening, give them a description of his pick-up and the license plate number. I was willing to deal with the consequences of him being caught instead of the legacy of knowing he had killed or maimed someone like my husband. I did not want to close my eyes at night and be haunted by the obituary picture of the child he may have killed because I didn’t have the courage to take his keys.
In our families, the legacy of faith in Jesus Christ has been passed on for several generations.
Welcome to the simple, warm sanctuary of the little country Methodist church I was raised in. There have been some updates…cushions on the worn wooden pews, carpet replacing the original wood floors, paneling now covers the walls. But what hasn’t changed inside these four walls is the gospel of Jesus and the truth of the Scriptures, a stability of unchanging values and truths in an ever changing chaotic world. This building is where I learned about community. Neighbor helping neighbor. The blessings of family and friends. I soaked up the poetry and beauty of the old hymns and passed that love on to my children.
Once upon a time I had grandiose dreams of greatness.. fame… financial gain. Those dreams have faded into ashes. My past is littered with failures and wrong turns. These day you’ll find me re-building a life lived simply and slowly…with extravagant amounts of quiet reflective moments.
Psalm 23: 1-3 The Message
1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
My family is priority. My friends more cherished. I choose activities carefully and have learned the art of saying “no”.
My legacy? Living by example how to embrace the beauty each day offers… ….encouraging the weary….loving others like Jesus loves me.
My dreams? When I grown up I want to be a Starfish Thrower…