I went to a funeral today.
Recently I read a book entitled Living Forward. And I have just spent an hour looking through my stacks of books to write a quote from it. Apparently I am not living forward enough to be organized enough to find it. Regardless, one of the exercises in the book was to write your own eulogy – to think about what you wanted people to say about you at your funeral. What did you want your life to stand for? What was going to be your legacy?
I doubt he had read the book I cannot find, but based on his funeral he didn’t need to. He was too busy creating a life and a legacy.
It wasn’t a legacy created from lavish financial donations
It wasn’t a legacy created from discovering some medical breakthrough
It wasn’t a legacy created by a heroic deed.
It was a legacy greater than any of those.
His legacy was that He loved his family well.
His children spoke of their relationship with their dad. They didn’t speak of his career or his material wealth, or awards that he had won. They spoke of cherished times on the ball field, of weekly breakfast dates and of memories simply riding in the car together. They spoke of what he taught them.
And of his laughter.
It was obvious that he was present. And sacrificial. And kind.
His legacy was made up of a million little choices he made for his family. Not one big sweeping gesture; but a thousand little ones.
I know I wasn’t the only one that left the funeral wanting to be a better person, mother and friend; hoping my children will one day say the same things about me.
But what choices am I making today that will create the legacy I want? What are my priorities? What consumes my time?
What about you?
I am so sad for my friend that she has lost her husband and I am heartbroken that her children are now without their dad, I, too, know the pain and ache of that grief. But I hope it brings them a little comfort to know that his life has inspired me to choose wisely how I invest my time. To prioritize the things that really matter, to be present for my children
…and to laugh!