The Legacy We Leave

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Have you ever thought about what people will say when the day arrives that you leave this earth? My mother passed away exactly one month ago now and it made me consider again this quote by Lin Yutang:

“Belief in our mortality, the sense that we are eventually going to crack up and be extinguished like the flame of a candle, I say, is a gloriously fine thing. It makes us sober; it makes us a little sad; and many of us it makes poetic. But above all, it makes it possible for us to make up our mind and arrange to live sensibly, truthfully, and always with a sense of our own limitations.”

I’ve thought a lot about what phrases or quotes define me. I can identify with the statements above and I want my life to count. I want my life to be summed up by the lines of the following songs:

“I Hope You Dance”:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance, I hope you dance

and

“Live Like You Were Dying”:
“And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again
And then
I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it

and by this quote from St Therese of Lisieux –

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on the world.
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless men now.”

My mother lived that kind of life and was a blessing to everyone who knew her.
I hope that when the time comes for me to leave this earth, people will say I also danced instead of letting life pass me by. I lived as though every day was my last. And I did magnify Christ to those around me.

How about you? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? You were born for a reason. Are you making your life count?

Carol

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