Does anyone else ever ponder how they're going to be remembered? I don't think about it all the time - but, it's crossed my mind a few times over the years. Yea, I'll admit more often these last few. I suppose, would hope, that in some ways the reflecting on it has guided decisions I've made about how I've lived my life.
So, as I began to contemplate putting something down on paper, the first thoughts that crowded into my mind and heart were some things for which I hope I'm not remembered. I really don't want to be remembered as a complainer. Sometimes it seems like most of my posts, especially when commenting on the ALS, is negative, pessimistic, lamenting. While I know I have a right and it's OK to be upset for the situation I am enduring, I just hope it doesn't cloud out the rest of my life and the experience others have had with me.
I also do not want to be remembered as someone who hurt with his tongue by being short and rude to others. I'm painfully aware that has become more and more of an issue, especially to those I love the most. I watched my dad do it to my mom the last few years of his life and never thought I could be capable of such a thing. I can rationalize it as my long-attempted controlling of my lack of patience and anger and the challenge of trying to be heard as my voice continues to weaken, but still the reality is I am failing on this score.
The final one I'll be public with in this post is my hope that I'll not be remembered as a one-issue person. Despite how much time I spend on raising awareness about ALS and raising funds for the fighting of it and research (and I greatly appreciate your generous and kind support in this endeavors!), I hope people remember other issues I addressed and concerns I had. I recognize I'm going through these days with blinders on which allows little distraction and is all-consuming as all of my energy is focused on this living and trying to make a difference while facing death's more imminent reality.
I'm not sure these are things I want people to remember about me, but I hope I created space for people to examine their life/faith/goals and allowed them the freedom to come to their own beliefs or non-belief. I hope I paid attention to the lonely, disheartened, disadvantaged, and used the strengths/skills/aptitudes/gifts/time/finances for the improvement of the space around me. I hope those I've offended have seen me change from a person who tended to be quick to judge and exclude those who were different from me to a person committed to inclusiveness, acceptance, tolerance, unconditional love, grace, and a reconciler.
Now, I haven't written this blog post to get a bunch of pats on the back or words of encouragement. I think what I would propose is an invitation for readers to consider their own reflections on how you want to be remembered or not. Post those if you want or feel free to personal message me if you prefer.