Monday, February 03, 2014

Leaving a Legacy-What Others Say About You When You Pass Away

 My Uncle Ron's unexpected passing at 57 really got me thinking.  Since visiting with family and hearing what everyone said about him, I'm even more amazed.  Nobody had anything bad to say. He was an attentive father, loving husband, hard worker, and an equally amazing grandfather.  I love that he put family first and kept all his relationships intact.  Not letting outside forces break each other apart.  Sometimes you have to fight for what you really care about.  Many times, not all the times, but many times it's your blood family that will stick with you whether or not you are super likable.  I tell the kids all the time that although they fight, they are learning how to work through problems that will help them as adults.  It's worth working through.  It's worth learning how to apologize and forgive.  Not to waste these opportunities by holding grudges.  I get sad when I hear that grown siblings are holding onto hurts from childhood.  Seriously, kids are immature and do and say stupid things.  Not worth holding onto. 

Talking to family the other day, they told me how Ron's co-workers could have went home earlier in the day.  When they found out Ron died on the job, they stayed till late that night all sitting together still at work.  They said he was the sunshine of the company.  That he brought joy to the workplace and was always the first one in with a smile.  I love that.  Will my kids remember me as stressed, contentious, and grumpy when days are hard?  Or will they see that even if mommy is having a hard day, she didn't take it out on everyone around her?  I think about things like this every single day.  EVERY DAY.

I loved how Ron had his grandkids over often and welcomed his home to them.  Here they are grown, all done raising kids, and he still loved the busyness of it. That's gotta be a tad tough I would think.  But that kind of unselfishness and patience is an amazing quality.  They traveled together as a whole family unit even though their kids are all raised. 

When someone passes on and they leave this kind of legacy behind them, what a testimony to have.  You won't be remembered just by what you say you believe.  You will be remembered by how you treated others around you and how you lived on a daily basis. 

"Lord, please help me to leave this kind of impact on my family and friends as Uncle Ron did.  I want to strive every day to be a leader to my kids and people around me.  Someone who lives it and loves.  Not just talks about what's wrong with the whole world around me.  I can't change the whole world.  I can only have an impact on the world around me so that they can learn and impact the world around them.  Help me to love by accepting people as they are and not what I want them to be. Amen."

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