Life & Death…Memories & Legacies

Have you ever had one of those restless nights where your brain just won’t stop over thinking?

That’s where I was last night. I don’t know what time I finally got to sleep, probably around 3:00. I started thinking about life, death, and the legacy you leave behind. I went to a funeral this past week for my grandmother’s best friend, Morris Leo Taylor, who died on September 22nd this year. A World War II veteran, Morris served in the Navy and lived a long and incredible life. The Catholic service was beautiful, followed by a short ceremony at the graveside where two soldiers presented his daughter, Andrea, with an American flag. Morris was 91 when he died. Even though most of us hope that we’ll live as long as Morris did, the sad reality is that death is a natural part of life. Not everyone gets to live into their nineties. I asked a question on my personal Facebook page some time ago about whether or not, if given the opportunity, you would want to know the year and cause of your death (knowing it couldn’t be prevented, no matter what you did). Many people said that they wouldn’t want to know. I get that.

I go back and forth. On one hand, it would be nice to know how much time I have left so that I could better prepare but on the other hand I wonder how it would change things. Would I invest more in relationships? How would it change what kind of parent I am to C? The fact is that it shouldn’t change things. We should always live each day like it could be our last. We should love each day like it could be our last. We should embrace life, enjoy it. And so last night I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t stop thinking about how Andrea must feel now, having lost both her parents and her only (blood related) sibling. I couldn’t stop thinking about how that will be me one day, at my dad’s funeral and how much I dread that day because I don’t want to lose him. I couldn’t stop thinking about C and how she will eventually lose both of us (the husband and me). I couldn’t stop thinking about death. I couldn’t stop thinking about life.

I was thinking last night about what would happen if, god forbid, something happened and I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to my loved ones. C is so young she wouldn’t even remember me. I haven’t been very good about documenting our family life and it’s something I need to get better at. I’ve always been pretty good about taking videos and pictures of C for friends and family who live across the country but I have got to get better at making sure we have family videos and family pictures. I made a vow to myself last night to start taking one video each week of how our family is. It doesn’t have to be a long video and it doesn’t even have to be about anything in particular…I just want to make sure I start documenting our life so that we never lose those moments. I want to start writing C letters that I’ll give to her when she had kids of her own one day, so that she will always have a little part of me with her and so that she can share them with her children, and their children.

It’s been said that we live on through the memories of others…

How do you plan to share those memories?

How do you plan to make those memories?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
-Henry David Thoreau

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