What would they say if they wrote my obituary today? So gloom and doom, I know, but it crosses my mind more than it should. Both of my parents have shared with me this week some unsettling comments on loved ones who are either not faring well or have left us long before. The challenge of both of those conversations for me is very specific and directly related.
Two upstanding, intelligent, God loving men from the deep South have or are leaving behind a legacy of bitterness and contempt. Because they were alcoholics and they hurt their children. Oh, that breaks my heart. Breaks. My. Heart. I hurt so much for those men and their legacies.
While I am not an alcoholic (I thank God for that, I do) I fret deeply over the legacy that I would leave if my departure from this life were untimely. I am not so blinded by grace that I don't think it's possible. It so is. And I desperately want EVERYONE who touches me to know how much I care. My unsettled sense of me comes from desperately wanting to only be remembered for good. Is that possible?
I want E to know that he is God's greatest gift to me. Ever. He could very well be the reason I am not an alcoholic or drug addict (thank you, babe!). He is quite obviously the reason that I have two healthy, breathtakingly beautiful children. He is the reason that I try to curb my destructive impulses, why I love more deeply than ever and why I smile most days. He is absolutely everything to me. Will he only remember that I don't know how to log into our checking account or will he remember that I adore him and tried to show him every day?
I want my babes to know that they offer me a more gorgeous view of the world than I ever even thought would be possible. I love their hands and feet and charming smiles. I cherish all of the drama, the books we read over and over and the prayer that the three of us made up on a trip to Tallahassee three years ago that mentions their Daddy and their dogs. I selfishly need to know that I haven't offered a careless criticism that they'll remember me for if I weren't here to apologize. I need so badly for them to know that they are my reason without spoiling them rotten in the interim. That's a tough one.
My girlfriends have to know that while my current world looks like just a party of four, that I would have never gotten to this happy place without them. Never. Some of them were there before E and I know they would each be there for me in a minute after E if that beautiful corner of my world should end. I need them to know how much I appreciate their interest in my family, my career and my well being. A chat with one of my girls has so often been the difference in a no good rotten very bad day and a memorable moment. I desperately don't want to be only remembered for my strong-willed, to the point, say what you don't want to hear attitude. If I weren't here to say "I'm so sorry" I would want them to remember me for generosity and my genuine love of their company. I need them to remember me as "That Friend". The one that loved them endlessly.
I desperately need my family (this is intended for my biological and married families - they are the same to me) to recognize that they inspire me all day. Every day. Their faults, their triumphs, their acceptance of me in all my disheveled splendor. There is a certain comfort and confidence that only comes with knowing that you're loved unconditionally by someone who would actually pick you up if you were stuck on the side of the road or in the emergency room. No questions asked. And to be loved like that by more than one someone feels so good. I want to be remembered as thoughtful, and appreciative and hospitable to them. And openly recognize that I am not always so good at that. Please remember me for how much I love you and not my long list of shortcomings.
A spoiled, selfish girl is where I started and I am trying desperately to shake unsettled. I want to leave a legacy that reflects how deeply I feel gratitude and how very, very much I love my life and all of it's glorious pieces and parts. Each of them. I hope you know who you are. I'm slightly unsettled that you may not . . .