Over the weekend, I had the honor of attending two memorial services.
The first was the mother of one of my best friends.
The second was the father of my son’s friend.
Both played out through very different circumstances, but ultimately, both ended in a proud son eulogizing his parent; one remembering what was – one wishing for what might have been.
To watch a child eulogize their parent is never an easy task – no matter the age.
There is clearly a special bond between a child and a parent – a bond which spans far beyond the reach of what we experience in this world.
We were honored and blessed to witness the sanctity of these bonds and to celebrate the lives of two amazing people.
As we left the second funeral, in an attempt to lighten the mood, I instructed my oldest son on how I expect him to handle my death.
I explained to him that he better not mess up my memorial service and he better be sure to make me look good in the eulogy.
I also may or may not have told him that I would haunt him if he screwed it up – I’m just sayin’.
But as the day progressed, I really did start to think about the lasting impression I am making on my kids.
How will they remember me? What will be the lasting memories they will hold on to?
Will they speak of the crazy, psycho woman who is always yelling about the messy house?
Or will they remember a kind, loving mother who always welcomed their friends into our messy house with open arms?
Will they speak of the woman who would yell at them if they didn’t get an “A” on their math test?
Or will they remember the mom who would hold them in her arms on that long night before the first day of school?
Will they speak of the scattered woman who was always running late and putting out last minute fires?
Or will they remember the mom who took on way too much responsibility to ensure they would have a life deep rooted in security and tradition?
Do I cringe at the thought – or do I know in my heart that the love for my children will shine through, above all else?
On days like today, I’m not sure.
One thing I do know for sure is my children will never speak of the size of my house, how much money I’ve made, or the type of car I drove.
Taking into account, every aspect of my life, there is nothing more important than my job of raising my kids. At the end of the day, nothing else really matters.
Like it or not, my friends – this is it – we are creating history.
We are making a lasting impression each and every day.
We are defining our parenting legacy.
So now we choose – how do we want to be remembered by our children?