My legacy

Well said

Originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn

We got to see part of the AIDS quilt when we were in Key West. And there was a sticker above the entryway of nearly every bar and store that declared “One Human Family.” And at the Southernmost Point, this mural was beneath our feet as we waited in line to get a photo at the famous buoy.

It got me to thinking about the absurdity of it all. Let’s assume I told you what happened today. And that you have now just picked yourself up from the floor after laughing too hard to catch your breath. And that you wished me good luck tomorrow because, well, it’s not like I can decline the follow-up meeting request. And that I feel better because I am not the crazy one for a change, but ssssh, don’t tell anybody that!

And I wonder how someone so wonderful as Elizabeth Edwards should die so horribly. (I know she’s not the first to die of cancer; but what a woman, you know?) But it was the pain in her life that makes this story so much worse.

The world said goodbye to an amazing woman today. I’ll remember her for fighting for health care for the rest of us, while she advanced through the cancer stages like an overachieving student. How she acknowledged that she had the Cadillac of health plans for herself and worried instead for those without her resources. How she kicked out that (good-looking) bum of a husband for cheating on her because life was too short — and who would know better how short it was, as her days were numbered.

And I look around and realize, wow, everything’s so … unimportant. So I’ll never be a prodigy at (insert inane activity). So I’ll never be able to hit a moving target. Or make above a certain income level. So maybe I never will get my mother out of my house. Or own my own property.

Who cares, really. Was I happy during the days I was given? Was I able to brighten others’ days during my journey? Did I make someone smarter, better, stronger, happier and more confident along the way? (The answer is unequivocally YES on all counts, and I have proof from as recently as today.)

And that’s really all that matters.

No one will remember in 100 years whether I ran an efficient meeting (I can’t. And I DON’T CARE). Or whether I let stuff slide to help others instead. Last I checked, HELPING PEOPLE counts as an achievement.

If I am remembered at all, it had better be for the smile I always had, even when I was screaming inside. For the solutions that i can see, plain as day, when others are too stressed out to see what’s right in front of them. For, not necessarily hugging people often (because I just don’t), but maybe for those rare occasions when I reach out and squeeze someone tight because either A) they need it, or B) I do. For when I could right something that the world had maliciously wronged.

That’s my legacy. I’m proud of it. It comes easily to me. Things that are forced, are not worth doing. Emotions often fail me, but sincerity is not one that I lack. And don’t ever tell me I don’t have my priorities out-of-whack … I guarantee that I put people above projects, and experiences over things. The Great Pumpkin (in the form of profits) will come to the sincerest pumpkin patch. But if the pumpkins ain’t happy, ain’t nobody (especially Momma) happy.

But when everybody’s happy, Momma’s happy. Even if she has to fake it till she makes it. And once it surrounds you, it’s more contagious than this stupid strain of virus I’ve had for the last 35 days.

I don’t need to change “the” world. Just the worlds entrusted to my care, for however long or short a period that is. That’s all I need. That’s all the WORLD needs.

And nobody has the right or the ability to judge me on anything less.

One Lonely Response to My legacy

  1. Lachlan :

    Love this. And it’s all so very true.