I heard music from heaven yesterday. My youngest had her first guitar lesson and came home and played what she had learned for us.
My daughter is playing my uncle’s guitar. He was my dad’s younger brother, and he died when I was a senior in high school. Music was a huge part of his life. He played multiple instruments and sang, as well.
As my daughter hesitantly played the notes of "Smoky Blues," which I am sure will someday sound like a recognizable song, I started thinking about the legacies we leave to our kids.
My girls never met my uncle, yet his legacy of music lives on in our family. Every time my daughter picks up her guitar, she thinks about him. Since my aunt gave us the guitar last fall, my girls have asked many questions about my uncle. He's become more than a person in a picture to them through the legacy he left.
I spent part of the day yesterday going through a box that contained some things that belonged to my grandmother. Back in the spring, my grandmother entered a nursing home, so we sorted through a lot of her things. I mostly came home with photos.
As I sorted through the box, I found a photo album I had made for her 80th birthday called "Reasons We Love You." My grandmother moved into a nursing home because she has dementia. Much like Alzheimer's, dementia robs a person of their mental capacity. My grandmother is no longer the vibrant woman she once was. Because she doesn't see us often, she barely recognizes us when we go to visit.
Flipping through this book, I was reminded of who my grandmother was. One of the quotes in the book was from my cousin who said "She has a great laugh." And, you know, I had forgotten that. I had forgotten that once my Grandma could laugh until she cried and make all the rest of us laugh along with her. That laughter is part of her legacy, along with knowing the importance of family and of faith.
Spending time with my memories yesterday made me wonder what kind of legacy I'm leaving for my kids. What will they remember when I'm gone? What do I want them to remember about me?
Heavy questions for a parent to ponder, but important ones. If we decide what we want our kids to remember about us now, then we will strive to instill those things in our kids. It will be an intentional legacy that we leave, not an unintentional one.
God wants us to leave a legacy of faith. He wants us to tell our kids all about Him. Psalm 71:16-17 says "Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come."
So, here's the things I want my kids to remember. I want them to remember I loved God, I loved their father and I loved them. I want them to remember that home was a safe haven. I want them to remember that people are always more important than stuff. And I want them to remember that no matter how dark things look, we can always rely on God to provide the light.
That's the legacy I want to leave. What's yours?