What is Your Legacy?

I recently discovered that a great-aunt I had not seen in decades died weeks before turning 100 years old.  I had so many family history questions I wish she’d answered but numerous request over the years went unanswered.

What legacy do you want to leave when you stand before your maker?

What legacy do you want to leave when you stand before your maker?

I was saddened but not surprised to discover she was not only been mean, but nasty to all of those close to her.  So much so that when she passed, there was no obituary and no service.  A simple graveside prayer was all that was said.

I thought about her life and wondered what made her so hard, angry and bitter.  I only knew of the highlights through her granddaughter, who had been my genealogy partner, before she {the granddaughter} died suddenly several years ago.

I couldn’t help but contrast this great-aunt with another family member, a second cousin, on another side of the family.

What will others say about you?

What will others say about you?

This cousin was the most loving, giving, welcoming, and unselfish individual I knew.  Even in the last year of her life, while she battled cancer, she seldom complained and attempted her best to continue to be the consummate hostess she was.

When she passed away, the chapel wasn’t just packed, but overflowed into another holding room and out the doors.  So many people showed up to pay their respects and show their love for her and to her family that she had always shown to others.

I thought about how easy it is to let our hurts and pain harden us, but we have a choice whether to show hate or to show love.  I had a firsthand example of two women and the choices they made.

I refuse to allow the pains and abuses of this world steal my mind, soul and heart.

I want to leave a legacy of love and kindness to those I encounter.

What legacy do you choose to leave?