OK, so I won’t have a tombstone. I’m good with that. My sister Mo has a grave, and we rarely get a chance to visit it. I plan to be donated to science, though I fully expect science to say: “Thanks, but no thanks. Your body is incredibly uninteresting. No need to investigate whatever you happened to die from.” So then I will be incinerated and made mulch of, or scattered out to sea. My dad was cremated, and one of our family stories was the jaunt on a boat out into Delaware Bay with Tom’s cremains. Little Evan insisted on accompanying us. It was a windy day. As we prayed and scattered, the breeze picked up and literally flung bits of Grandpa into Ev’s face. Evan was unaware of it at the time, and we sure weren’t going to tell him. He knows now, of course, about his ashy baptism, and we laugh about it.
I have my funeral pretty much planned out. Sher and Yaj will (through their blinding grief of course) compose a gorgeous string quartet. Evan will play Copland’s “The Resting Place on the Hill.” Rose will sing whatever she wants, because her voice is so beautiful that it won’t really matter. “Give Me Jesus” will factor in. PJ and Julie will deliver clever but heartfelt tributes. Boy, I wish I could be there!
I’ve been thinking lately. What is my legacy? What will I leave my little corner of the world once I shuffle off this mortal coil?
A body of writing, for one thing. Good or bad, I have been relatively prolific over the years. My target audience for it all? Now that I think of it, it’s really been my kids. I’ve painted a picture of my life in words in hopes that they will come to understand their neurotic, insecure, but very well-meaning mom.
What else? My small part in “raising” an amazing group of young people from Christ’s Lutheran Church–people of great compassion and enthusiasm for doing God’s work in the world. I have been so lucky to be one of their mentors for the past 11 years, and I celebrate their dedication and accomplishments and big, big hearts.
Finally, I will leave the world my most precious treasure: my children. I am incredibly proud of each one of them, and have been so so blessed to be their mother. They will live on (God willing) long past my last breath, to gift the universe with their talents. I wish with all my heart I could afford to leave them more of the things that money can buy. I pray that they will be content with the things money can’t, foremost of which is my forever love for them.
Believe me, I am in no big hurry for my swan song, and hope I have many years left on earth. But if I died tomorrow, I would be very glad to know that there is a small legacy after all.