A Mark On This Earth

When I was young and living in the small town of Wabash, Indiana I used to dream of different ways to become famous. During mass I often fantasized a record producer would, for some unknown reason, be in my church, hear my voice and offer me a contract. Or, I would dream a modeling agency would see me as I vacationed with my family and rush over to tell me I would be the next big thing on the cover of Seventeen Magazine. Even though I spent many years with these images in my head those events never took place. Instead, I went to college, graduated, found a job, got married and began the life I lead now.
It has only been recently that I remembered those long ago dreams and realized it is very unlikely my face will grace the cover of a fashion magazine or my singing voice be heard across the airwaves. I’m okay with this reality because I understand if I truly wanted those goals to happen I would have worked a little harder at accomplishing them. With this realization however, I wondered, have I made my mark on this world? When I’m gone will I have left a legacy? After some consideration I recognized leaving my mark does not require me to be famous. Keeping that in mind, I settled on a list of lasting qualities, I believe, I have managed to accomplish.
I have been a good daughter. While growing up I never caused my parents much concern. In turn they gifted me with their love, a comforting home, siblings to have and cherish my entire life and a college education. As an adult I welcomed my parents into my home. I enjoyed their company and we shared some great meals, laughter and many adventures when they graced my doorstep. For six years as my mother slid into dementia, I comforted and counseled her, fought her medical battles, sat through doctor appointments, made more than one run to the emergency room and, fought my own guilt feelings of inadequacy. Finally, on the day she died I held my mother’s hand and read to her the poems she recited to my siblings and me, and sang to her the songs that brightened our childhood days.
Friendship may be one of my strong suits. I love that shared intimacy. And, nothing seals a bond of camaraderie like the struggle of raising children. Many reassuring conversations took place during the frustrations and joys of raising children. I have been there through health scares, holding hands, sending cards and making phone calls to check in. I have consoled woman friends through the everyday difficulties of marriage and they have returned that favor to me. Most difficult of all I have been with my friend as she fought to keep her husband alive, then, in the end, as she graced him with her love and the permission to leave this earth.
Together my husband and I have created and raised two amazing daughters. They are kind to others, responsible for themselves, fun to be with, gifted with creativity, athletic and smart. As parents we gave our daughter many material items. When they were very young it was toys, dolls and stuffed animals. As they grew it became sports equipment, namely downhill skis. We offered opportunities to try new adventures. We bought a boat and took them tubing, cliff jumping and island camping on Lake George in the Adirondacks. All of those material presents brought the most important gift of all; a family. We formed a bond as we traveled for ski races, or huddled together in a small tent to avoid a storm on Turtle Island. We grew as a family having fun together, sharing dinners, laughing, arguing; just spending time with one another.
With this inventory I have concluded my legacy is one of kindness, love, fun, support and a future generation. Consequently, I think my daughters and our family are far more of a mark to leave on this earth than my past dreams of being famous.

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6 thoughts on “A Mark On This Earth

  1. I couldn’t agree more! Children are the future (yours strengthen & brighten it) and simultaneously reflect the past (love shared). No better legacy 🙂

  2. Your reflections and thoughtful insights are also a way that you have made an impact. I often see myself in your words and that offers me an opportunity to reflect on my own priorities, growth, and actions. Well done.

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