Recently, my husband and brother cleared their late parent’s dilapidated work shed on the family farm.
After hours of sifting through cobwebs, rat droppings, and bat nests, they discovered two glass objects wrapped in yellow, moldy newspapers.
While wondering if they could be extremely rare pieces of Steuben glass, a memory of their late uncle popped into their consciousness, for he once collected such valuables.
Of course, they loved the glass, but many questions remained.
Imagine how meaningful it would have been for my husband and brother to find an accompanying journal, explaining where their uncle got these collectables and why they had such personal significance.
This is a lovely picture of what it means to leave a legacy.
Up until lately, whenever I heard the word “legacy,” I envisioned a family seated around a desk in a lawyers office, listening to the last wishes of a departed love one.
However, legacies aren’t just about funerals and caskets, but about living life to the fullest.
Legacies are living, fresh, and active, encompassing everyday life in our memories, whether negative or positive.
Legacies are heirlooms, or gifts, passed on from one generation to the next.
Legacies are a wake-up call, reminding us of life’s brevity, for none of us know when we’ll exit.
Legacies can be positive or negative, teaching us that we learn what to do from some people and what not to do from others.
Legacy isn’t passive, but active, for we can proactively create our legacies now.
Now, don’t get nervous thinking legacy is something you must achieve or accomplish.
You need not rumble through grandpa’s old papers to find it, for it’s closer
than the air you breathe.
Could it be that you’re a beginner at this, like me?
Frankly, I get enthusiastic thinking that even though the first part of my legacy—my life lived now—is showing my legacy, I can do something else to create documents, gifts, and photos for my children and grandchildren.
Let me ask: Could your gift be hidden in an old shed of shame? Could it be wrapped with the yellowed, moldy newspapers of discouragement and exhaustion?
Would you come to the shed with me?
If I hold your hand, would you be willing to open the creaky door and push away the cobwebs?
Will you be willing to search for your legacy by stomping through mouse droppings and bat nests?
If so, you’ll discover your legacy, like my husband finding the multi-faceted valuables.
Now, you’re asking, “What am I looking for? What is my legacy gift?”
For, YOU, dear one, are the gift, the heirloom to the next generation.
Yes, every single inch of you that lives the daily grind is part and parcel of your legacy. Your strengths and weaknesses, your challenges and failures, your dreams and goals.
Maybe you don’t feel like a gift?
Since when do feelings mean anything?
The solid fact is that you’re it.
Just think, as you enter the shed, you may discover you’re Steuben after all.
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