Today, we received word of the sudden death of a man from our church. We didn’t know him well, but I know his wife. Sal is a breezy, cheerful, outspoken woman with a huge capacity for love. She is a fabulous cook and a wonderful mother. When she hears of someone in need, she is there, usually with an armload of food.
Now Sal’s husband, Nick, is gone and what I remember about him is the way he always looked at her. Husbands are told to love their wives, but Nick’s love showed on his face. He smiled at Sal as though she had invented sunshine. Maybe she was the sunshine in his life. Clearly, he thought so. Any man smart enough to marry a woman like Sal and stay in love with her for 30 years is a man to be remembered, envied and admired. This made me think again, about being remembered.
Last summer, I was sitting on the beach with my cousins and one said “I wonder if our kids will tell stories about us someday, the way we do with our parents and grandparents.” Startled by this idea, I blurted out “Wow! We’d better clean up our acts.” We all laughed, but I wonder….how will we be remembered?
If I could choose, I would like to be remembered as generous, kind, funny, helpful and non-judgmental. I don’t need to be admired for accomplishments. My college GPA will be ancient history by then. Material possessions will be what they are now, just older. Having little in the way of financial assets, my value won’t be judged in dollars, so if you’re reading this for details of the will, you will be sadly disappointed.
Will my friends and family remember having enjoyed spending time with me? Will my children, grandchildren and cousins sit on the beach and tell funny stories about me? I hope so. It’s up to me to make their memories good ones and there is no time like the present to begin. Right now. Today.