Legacy

Today’s daily prompt was somewhat morbid. Not what I needed necessarily after the week I have had. But ultimately, it was good to write this and to get these thoughts down on “paper.”

So, what would I think, what would I say, if this was my last day, the end of my life? What sort of legacy do I want to leave behind? Would I expect to have a lasting effect on the world, after I’m gone?

I would say that I have lived a good life. I have been lucky.

I once sat by the side of a lake and watched the midsummer sun rise.

I have wandered through ancient castles and prehistoric stone ruins.

I’ve stood in the shadow of mountains, I’ve touched the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.

I have lain in a boat on a lake at night and stared at the Milky Way.

I have loved and been loved and have been part of a wonderful family.

I followed my childhood dream to Ireland.

What more could I ask for out of life? This is the life I was born to live.

I never sought fame and I am ok with that.

What I did seek was to be happy, to live in happiness and peace with others, to make my family feel special and know they were loved.

Oh, sure, there was I time I believed I was so special that big things were in store for me. That was when I was younger. But, now mature, I see that feeling that way simply meant that my parents did a good job of making me feel that I was special in their eyes. That to them, I was smart enough and talented enough to make something of myself.

What that something was was up to me to decide. And in the end, I chose a quiet life, a life of honesty, a life with a family and friends who were real friends. No fakery. No trickery. Just a happy, simple existence.

Humour has been important. I sought, and found, people who made me laugh and with whom I could laugh. I hope I have made them laugh at times, too.

Still, it is human nature, I believe, to never feel it is time to go. To fight until the last. To live.

When I was young, but old enough to understand that we all eventually die, I would lie in bed bargaining with a god I didn’t believe in, asking him to let my family live forever. To protect them. And to let me live forever, too. I felt so sure that the world would somehow in my lifetime discover a cure for death, and that we – my family and I – would somehow eternally live together.

I think some of that naïve spirit lives in most of us, keeps us going through the tough times. Perhaps this combined hope, hope that tomorrow will be better, and curiosity for what the future will bring, is what pulls us through.

Humans are egocentric beings and we fundamentally have difficulty imagining a world without us in it.

Or maybe that’s just me.

But now that it is my time to turn my head toward the West, to pass on, I feel that I have done my best. I have lived the life I was meant to live. No regrets. Mistakes, maybe. But not regrets.

My words live on, for those who care to read them, and my memories live on in the hearts of those whose lives mine has touched.

Beyond that, my energy and my breath will become part of the earth, the wind, the rain, the trees. And that is what my legacy will be. Nothing more, noting less.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

8 thoughts on “Legacy

  1. That was really beautiful and touched me personally. I relate to so much of it. I think I am still reticent to let go of “I am special.” I’m just about there, but not quite. Even still, I don’t think that would be the thing that would make it hard for me to go tomorrow. Unresolved stories, unfinished sentences, unspoken words, unshared feelings. These are the things that would make it hard to depart, hard to be grateful for all the rest.

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