28 March 2008
Memorials and Tributes
Yesterday, I attended a retirement gathering for a co-worker of mine. As her attorneys and fellow secretaries lauded her for her achievements during her 21 year tenure at our firm, I wondered, "What will people say about me when I leave...or when I die?" I think we all go through this whenever we attend such events: retirement parties, funerals, or any other event where you are honoring a person. I know I often have this question whenever I go to a funeral and hear people praise the person who is now asleep in the Lord. I mean, no one ever gets up front and says, "(insert name here) was horrible...always mean, never smiled and I, for one, am glad that he / she is no longer here." No one ever says that!
But lately, I have been to a few events where people have talked about someone and I sat there thinking, "Wow! I really wish I had gotten to know that person before they died (or retired or whatever the event was...)" Or in the case of my friend and classmate, John Walker, who passed suddenly last October, I sat at his memorial service and thought, "Wow, I wish I had spent more time with him when I had the chance because I missed out on so many things." (like his cooking and hospitality).
So, where do I go from here? I think the only way that you can have people say nice things about you when you're gone is to do nice things while you are alive. And, I am blessed in that I get validation from people frequently about how something I did or said or wrote impacted their lives in a positive way (and praise God for that!). But I am sure that there are also people out there who could stand up and testify that I was not always the nicest person they've ever met either. And that makes me sad. I want the footprint that I leave in people's lives and souls to be a positive one.
It is my goal to shift the balance so that the majority of people will say positive things about me when I am "gone" from their lives...what about you?