How will you be remembered?
It’s a question that is often at the forefront of my mind these days. See, it occurred to me recently that I’m doing more than just living — I’m creating a legacy. I’m authoring my story but the thing is, it isn’t just my story anymore, because I have a family.
The question I find I’m asking myself is: What memories of me will be most prominent in the minds of my children or my spouse? And this forces me to take more care in the day to day.
One day, will hearing the words “you’re just like your mother” cause my children to beam with pride or wince with frustration?
Will their childhood be a time they reflect on with fondness? Will they be just as thankful to be my children as I was to be their mother?
Did my actions adequately display my gratitude?
Will they feel sorrow or will they be relieved?
I hope that the way I love them — with fervor, with an ability to see hope and promise in their big brown eyes — I hope it trumps the days that weren’t so stellar:
The days when I struggled to keep it together. The days when I didn’t bring a sparkle to their eyes. When I was tired. When they needed me and I put them off with a “hold on” but then felt relieved when they got tired of waiting. The days when I allowed myself to be a victim of life’s challenges. The days I filled with too many tasks and commitments rather than simply being with them.
I hope they’ll remember that I often made them pancakes. And that their art adorned the walls of our home. And that I memorized the entire Frozen soundtrack so I could sing with them. I hope that they remember that sometimes I sat and cried right alongside them, my heart aching in the wake of their sadness. I hope they’ll remember my epic freestyle dance moves (who am I kidding) and how I showered them with hugs and kisses and I love you’s. How I prayed for them and for the strength and wisdom to be the mother they needed. That I may have fallen short but I never stopped trying.
I know they’ll remember my mistakes but I hope they won’t forget what I did after them. That I made an effort to give them roots and wings. And that when I told them home was wherever Daddy and I were I meant it.
I hope they’ll remember that I had dreams too and that their presence never kept me from dreaming. Instead they pushed me to dream bigger, and sometimes my dreams changed. Mostly because I changed. But my victories were always sweeter because I wasn’t celebrating alone.
They’ll remember the laughter, the tears, and the days when surely I was the worst mom ever. And how each day I got up knowing there was an opportunity for redemption, a chance to be better.
And how I seized that chance each time. As best I could.
When l think about such a time, a time in which all that is left is a memory, I realize just how profound and important this very moment is. Today’s moments will be tomorrow’s memories and as life unfolds and people come and go sometimes the memories are all we’ve got left to hold on to.
I hope and pray they’ll always be able to hold on to me. But if there is ever a day that they cannot, I hope that they will remember the way I loved them.
That I loved them as if it was my calling. Because it was.