A Wondering Widow Post
I’ve given you
a piece of me.
good with it.
The longer you live, the longer the list of those you love and lose becomes. While I’d like to hope my list has stopped growing, I’m well aware that time marches on. At some point, I’ll have to add names. At least until the day I join someone else’s list.
So if we’re here for such a short time, what do we do with it? What is the legacy we leave behind to prove that we were here? What will we do to better the world and the lives of those we love? To clarify, I’m just musing and not actually looking for an answer.
A Father’s Legacy
When I lost my Dad, I was up to my eyeballs in trying to defeat cancer and death. I didn’t have time to mourn the loss of the first man I ever loved. The first man to ever love me unconditionally. The man who set the bar for all other men who would enter my life, and set it super-hero high.
When I think about the legacy he left behind, all I have to do is look in the mirror. His legacy was his family and not just his own kids. He was an incredible teacher and role model for everyone he encountered and he adopted all of our childhood friends. But as I reached the point I was forced to acknowledge I would lose Dan, the lessons my Daddy taught me about gaman, strength and perseverance were the legacies I needed to survive, even if I didn’t do it with much grace or dignity. He was my biggest champion, and never doubted me. I take it as a huge compliment when people tell me I remind them of him, even if I don’t see it.
A Legacy of Love and Live Now
Before he died, Dan shared his Live Now legacy with the world, showing us how to live every moment to the fullest and how to die with grace and courage. In the AFTER, it was a lesson I struggled with for a long time. Somehow I think he knew that and it’s why it was so important to him that I become its voice and champion. He was going to drag me kicking and screaming back to life, even if it was out of obligation. He’s still looking out for me. (And still trying to tell me what to do!)
I continue to receive private messages from many of you about how his Live Now legacy has changed your lives. How it has influenced the stay or go choices you make, the chances you take, and making the most of the time you have. I will treasure these forever. I write them down (no names, don’t worry) so that someday his grandchildren will know how many lives he impacted in his short time here, even though they never got to know him.
A Legacy of Graceful Strength
I recently had to add a name to my list, my Great-Aunty Maggie. In my youth, I didn’t realize the impact the lessons she taught me would have on my future. I just knew I loved her and that she was one of the coolest women I’d ever know. Looking back, I can see her legacy for what it was. She taught me how to be tough and soft at the same time, how to survive great loss, how to own my mistakes, and how to live a life of my own choosing.
As you think about your own legacy from our short stay on this big blue marble, I’ll leave you with this message I received from a friend shortly before I left the US on my European adventure.
My favorite Monsignor told me that nobody was as dead as a dead priest…a dead priest that failed to make an impact on others. It is in leaving an impact on others that one continues to live. The more people you create a positive impact on, the longer you live…throughout time the ripple of your impact can last millennia. Both you and Dan will live forever.
Cheers to leaving a legacy that ripples through time and space for millennia, until we return that piece to the universe who gave it to us in the first place.
The Wandering Widow.
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
Today would have been my Daddy’s 77th birthday. Call your own Dad if you’re still lucky to have him and tell him you love him. Do something nice for someone else’s Dad if you don’t. And eat some cake. My Daddy loved cake.