My mom came out to Colorado from Florida for Christmas like she did every year. Little did we know that after this special holiday, she would end up in hospice care at my home and die a few weeks later. Caring for her was an amazing gift from God. Every moment I knew I was living in the Divine. 

What I know for sure is we are all going to die someday. No one escapes. Planning her memorial service in Florida and listening to family and friends attest to her character and what she accomplished in her life, I was struck by what a legacy she left. The modeling of perseverance, tenacity, love of family, hospitality, thrift, strength, optimism, intellectual curiosity, wisdom, humor, loyalty and encouragement is what I will always remember about her. So many gifts of love she gave to so many. She was one of a kind. 

We mostly think of legacy in terms of the money or property we might pass on to our survivors. What legacy really means is a transmission of received intangibles like values, beliefs, or attitudes. Legacy is what we learn from others along the journey. Intangible legacies are more valuable than money or property because they guide one’s life and inspire others to live well and do great things they learned from the person who is now gone. Legacy is part of the ongoing foundational circle of life. Those who came before us leave the world a different place. Legacy building has the power to model life-giving lessons for others to continue. Leaving a legacy keeps us focused on the big picture, a sense of family history, belonging, and purpose, generation after generation. Memories of the special moments of life is a legacy of a life well lived.  

I started thinking about what I want my legacy to be for my loved ones. I want them to know how passionate I am about making the world a better place. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  Paying it forward, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, accomplishments, a new day, sunrises, sunsets, running water, fresh cut grass, children, families, love, and life. I want them to know that I live in possibilities, serendipity, and faith that all things work together for good. I want my loved ones to know that I value all individuals as precious miracles as they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. I want them to know that the words of Winston Churchill ring true in my life, I will never, never, never, never, never give up. I value honesty, integrity, generosity, kindness, curiosity, hard work, humor, kindness, health, good food, hospitality, and relationships. Leaving a legacy for others to follow is part of what drives me. I followed others who went before me; they left a legacy for me. Now, I will be intentional to leave a legacy for those who come after me so they will have a path to follow as well. Let us all be intentional regarding creating our legacy. It is the miracle of generational wisdom and belonging.