I attended a funeral recently. This may seem odd but funerals make me think. They make me sad for the loss of a special person; however, I like to look at them as a celebration of the life that person lived, especially when the person has lived a full, long life. In this instance, my great-aunt was 99 years old. She lived in her own home up until 18 months ago. In my opinion, that is something to be both thankful and grateful for.
In addition to being a great-aunt, she was also a neighbor for many years, so there was a double connection. As I lay in bed that evening thinking about my day, it dawned on me that that I had witnessed life come full circle that day. While the actual events didn’t happen literally that day, I had witnessed a brand new life coming into this world with a visit to the hospital to visit our newest great-niece, and the celebration of a life fully lived and ending of a 99 year old woman. One journey just starting and one at its completion.
The eulogy at the funeral was beautiful and it got me thinking about life and what each of us chooses to do with each day and what experiences we will choose to have. What experiences will Leah, our newest great-niece is going to have compared to Ruth who began her life almost 100 years before her. What legacy will she leave behind? What will my legacy be? During the funeral, my son made the comment, a comment that was later mentioned in the eulogy as well: “There really should be a bag of cookies in there with her.” It was part of Ruth’s legacy.
The next day a friend, who happened to attend the same elementary school, mentioned my paternal grandmother and her cooking. She was head cook at the elementary school in Randall for many years and often went in at 4 a.m. to make homemade caramel rolls for the staff and students. She also did a tremendous amount of sewing and crafts over the years but her legacy was her cooking. People years later remember and still often comment on her cooking to me. My maternal grandmother will be remembered for her love for beer and cards. You barely get in the door at her house and she is asking you if you would like a beer (there is always cold beer in the fridge, yes that is why there is always cold beer at my house too) and the cards and little bowls of snacks come out. I guess I inherited these gifts from of each of my grandmothers. All cherished, fond memories that linger in our memories for years to come after a loved one leaves this earth.
We all leave our mark in this world. What do you want do you want to be remembered for? What will your legacy to this world be?