Today, my parents would have been married 71 years. I think about the life they built and the legacy and stories left behind. They had eight children together, all very different, but very close children. We had eight different personalities; eight different opinions; eight different lifestyles; and one love for family! We all were successful in our own right and, for parents, I think that is a lot to be proud of. No, we were not all doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s. In fact, none of us were. It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but we all lived well because of those two people. What an amazing legacy! What will my legacy be?
I write so much about survival, which must include being the youngest of eight children (by four minutes of my twin) as well as loss of some of those siblings and loved ones. I tend to forget about just being me and what my input into society will be. Legacies are not created from just getting through things. Legacies are created by changing and creating. What we put in is what we get out. If surviving is my only goal, it won’t be my legacy, but my legacy may be weaved in somewhere.
Several people recently have mentioned to me that I should write a book. My book would be about survival. It is already started, so I did some deep diving into what moves me to write. As I reread my words, almost always I am writing about how to survive and get through situations. Most times, they seem sad, but with hope written in between each line.
My motivation to write tends to come to me when I am rattled or facing an iconic or difficult situation. Words help me through. Putting them on paper (metaphorically) puts them in guide format. Analyzing each segment of my writings takes time, but I see the guidance outlined. This may only be visible to me, but my hope is that others benefit from that written plan.
So, if I am analyzing my words, I must ask myself, where does that inspiration and motivation come from? That is an easy answer—parents and faith! My mother has been guiding me since Day One! Faith has been there since as well because I believe it is what guided her. When I was younger (like 50 years ago) I would write with hope and faith. One of my first “shared” poems, I gave to a friend who gave a baby up for adoption. My poem was placed with other items in case that child ever wanted to find his birth mother. I was 14 when I wrote it. My mother was so moved that I wrote the poem and that my friend did what she did with it. She mentioned that “act of love” many times over the next several decades. Faith guided me to that moment.
Many times, I would write something, not even knowing I had friends in situations that related to it. I hope others related as well. I think words help us, whether spoken or written. I tend to lose myself in the words and something else steps in and finishes the sentence or finds the word that rhymes. I don’t believe I am ever alone with my writing. I can describe it almost as if it were an out-of-body experience. Many times, it was the ONLY way to describe it.
This post also came about from a keynote speaker I had the privilege to listen to recently. She asked us what the three words were that we hoped described us the best. I wrote: survivor, faithful, and inspirational. This is what I want my legacy to be. This is what I aspire to become. I know I may not always live up to these descriptions, but my goal is to live up to them the majority of the time.
If the passing of my son is what inspires me to help others through their situation, then I must include the faith and survival aspects on that mission. They are a combo. I cannot do one without the others. And please do not think I am any way asking for affirmations to this. I am not fishing for compliments. These are wishful goals I can only try and aspire to. I think we all truly want this outcome in the actions we present. We just present differently. Some do this in the form of music; others preach gospel; and, some, become motivational speakers.
This speaker also asked what our favorite quote is. My quote: “be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi. Too many rely on others to make their life better. I don’t. I don’t believe we are all leaders, but we are not all followers either. The world needs balance. I need balance. This is why I write.
My parents inspired me every day to be me. My dad died when I was only 26. Two brothers followed him leaving my mother to deal with those losses without him. She had shown me the strength to survive and also relied on her faith to get through it. So, on the anniversary of the day our “family” started, I can only hope to leave a legacy of memories, strength, faith, and inspiration. It’s a goal if nothing else.
I cry because they are gone, but I smile because they were here!!
#legacy #survival #inspiration #thedashinthemiddle