Mr. Smith and I logged another road trip this past weekend, popping up to Niagara Falls for a night on Friday. Saturday morning, we pressed on through rain and cold to his mother’s in Michigan to spend Easter weekend with her. Sunday morning the sun came out and we enjoyed our time together in the thumb of Michigan, eating, drinking and chatting. Then Monday morning we headed back to Ithaca. The weather cooperated, the drive was easy and the conversation thought-provoking.
Mr. Smith is approaching his 65th birthday and with that upcoming milestone, he has become quite introspective. As we drove across Ontario on the QEW enjoying the sight of buds popping on trees and fields turning green, we talked about our lives and how we would like to be remembered, what kind of legacy we want to leave. While we both hope to have many more years to share with our family and friends, milestones have a way of making you take stock.
It was providential that the same day Mr. Smith and I were talking about how we’d like to be remembered, my sister-in-law posted this poem from American writer and teacher, Bernadette Noll, on Facebook.
I also want to age like sea glass, to have a well-earned patina with just the right luster. Life is going by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was waiting for the results of a pregnancy test, and now my three sons are grown men building lives of their own. Ten years ago, I had no grandchildren, now I have seven and I revel in them each and every day.
As much fun as I am having in life right now, I know no one lives forever. Shannon L. Alder, an American author who works with hospice patients said, “Carve your name on hearts, not on tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” I hope I leave my children and grandchildren with many memories and stories they’ll want to share and the deep, steadfast knowledge of how much they were loved. And I hope they will feel as lucky to have been part of my life as I feel to have them as part of mine.
C’est la vie.