I’ve been thinking a lot about legacies — those intangible gifts that my parents are handing down to me. As I watch my parents get older, and when big and small health issues occur, I wonder what my life will be like without them.
I don’t worry about helping them in these next few years, and I want them around as long as possible. However, I do worry a lot about how I will deal with the empty space they eventually leave behind. I have friends who tell me not to think about this, but it feels important. In fact it seems important enough to articulate this concern to them.
How do I ensure that their legacies are strong enough to help me grieve but also fill up the parts of my life that their unbounded love and magnetic personalities have occupied? How can I continue to pass on their legacies to my daughter and her future children?
One answer, I believe, is to place some faith in the power of the birth, death, and resurrection cycle. Because church has always been important in our lives (though not a doctrinaire church), this cycle has woven its way throughout our lives, a part of everything that we do. A worship concept, yes, but more than that the cycle is a source of comfort, motivation, understanding, and most importantly a source of peace as I anticipate the future.
Legacies from my parents:
- a sense of adventure
- a love of learning
- a commitment to justice
- a commitment to integrity
- a desire to always follow the news
- a wish to help others
- respect in comments in actions for others, even if I cannot stand them (though for the very first time I am being sorely tested by Sarah Palin)
- a wish to try to make the world a better place.
- an enjoyment of writing
- honesty in personal relationships