Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Legacy Continuer

I used that term in my Instagram profile and yes, I made it up.  I do believe, however, that is is a very real thing.  I am a legacy continuer.  

When my mom passed away in December, 2012, I became an orphan.  Both of my parents are gone.  I am an only child.  Those are very real facts and they are amazingly real to me. Within a few months after mom passed away and I was in the midst of settling their estate, going through or having gone through the papers and things that made up their lives, and knowing that I was going to sell there house, I realized that when it is all over - I will be their legacy.  For a while, people who knew them will drive down the street past their house and remember that "Harold and Doris lived there" and those at their church will remember their "pew" :) and that fact that my mom was their Sunday School teacher for many years.  Still, after a while, those things will not be remembered.  Soon, the only physical reminder of their lives will be a cement rock at Old Salem cemetery in Nortonville, Kentucky.

I want people to remember more.  I want them to see my dad's loving heart and generous spirit, my mom's love of pretty things and her ability to manage their money in an amazing way.  I want them to see the work ethic they instilled in me and that you should always choose to do the honorable thing.  There is only one way those gifts will live on - if I choose to make them a part of my life.  They are in there, stored deep in my heart and my soul.  Some of them break through to the surface fairly easily and regularly.  I have to be careful though, because other legacies are there as well - the tendency to judge too quickly, to be impatient, to see life in a negative way instead of looking for the best.  I don't even have to work hard to bring those to the surface.  They are very happy to step forward and lead.

Mom's birthday was this past Saturday and I guess I think about her more than dad these days.  I think it might be because between the time when dad passed away in December, 2006 and mom six years later, she and I grew so much closer out of necessity.  Her health was poor and she NEEDED me.  She hated that she needed me, but she did.  It didn't make it easy and at times, it was incredibly hard, but it made a difference in my life.  I miss her more than I ever imagined that I would or could.  My dad, well, my dad was my champion and the best father in the world.  His influence on my life is one of the greatest gifts I could ever be given.

Back to mom's birthday a few days ago....I've been intentional in looking for her legacy this week.  Visual reminders are everywhere in my home, from the beautiful dishes in the dining room to the gold bracelets on my wrists at this very moment. The car in my driveway is a constant sweet reminder as I was able to purchase it after mom died.  I also know my dad would be overjoyed for me and my mom would wonder why in the world I traded in her precious Grand Marquis! :)

This week has also made me think about the legacy I want to leave.  What do I want my son and others to remember most when they thinks about me years from now?  I began writing on paper a few months ago what my core values are and I landed here:

1)  I want to live out my faith
2)  I want to be genuine in who I am
3)  I want to act in humility and fight arrogance
4)  I want to be an encourager
5)  Be generous
5)  Give grace

Those six things are tall orders and leaving a legacy to include them will only be possible through the grace and mercy of God.  I'm going to give it my best shot.

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