The sweet memories of her will always linger
Although she was even more beautiful that I can remember
Lost childhood and hard work did not change her much
Her kind spirit and generosity was her special touch
She tried to keep us from the struggles she knew so well
We never quite knew the burden she would later tell
Spiritual foundation became her motto
She would grow into the mom that she ought to
Oh, how she made the most of what she had
She would never give in to feeling sad
Sharing stories and old wives’ tales
She gave us a special gift we would always crave
Family was always first and we knew it well
We never doubted the love she did not tell
She found amazing ways to express that special love
The smile, the warmth, and her love engulfed us
We all thought she was called too soon
When nervous and scared she called on Him with a longing tune
He was with her to the very end
Oh how I miss her, my dearest friend
Do you sometimes wonder how you will be remembered? While watching Valerie Harper, star of the 1970s television comedy, so bravely discuss her terminal brain cancer diagnosis and reflect on life on a popular talk show, it was hard not to be inspired. Responding to questions on the reasons she wanted to share her story, Harper said, “I’ve had such a great run … I’m going on 74. I want people to be less afraid.” Listening to Valerie was enough to bring about some serious self-reflection about the legacy we are shaping each day.
Spending time thinking about your legacy is not the same as being obsessed with dying. In fact, thinking about your legacy helps you to focus on how you are living. Is my life reflecting my priorities? Am I sharing God’s love? Do I always put family first? If we want to be remembered as amazing mothers, caring people, loyal friends, people of strong faith, then we have to live like we really mean it.
What is your legacy? Every action we take each day – deliberate or not – goes into building our legacy. Thinking about our legacy could help us live a more purpose-filled life. Our legacy will reflect what is important (or not so important) to us – family, friends, or career. Are we valuing things over people? Remembering to make time for our loved ones can go a long way towards shaping how we are remembered and even emulated. The generations behind us could look to memories or stories of how we lived and appreciate our values. Everyday we are shaping a part of the beautiful mosaic that will provide a complete picture of who we are.
It’s never too late to change the course of our legacy. Here are a couple of questions to ponder:
- What do you value most in life?
- What would others say you value?
- What is your purpose in life?
- Are you fulfilling that purpose?
- How would you most like to be remembered?
Of course we could spend half of our lives worrying about how others might see us, or worrying about what we should be, forgetting to just “be”. In the end, if we just strive to be more Christ-like, we will cover all of our bases and, in the process, succeed in leaving a very rich and meaningful legacy.