There is a song by Nicole Nordeman that I have loved for years. I have been thinking about it today:
I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed Your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
I went to a funeral for a man who was born nine months after me. He was a co-worker who I had the privilege of working with this year before he went on leave. I had known of him but never worked with him directly. He talked about his illness openly and his courage left so much of a mark on me that, even though I had only worked with him very briefly, I felt compelled to attend his funeral. When I looked around at the attendees, it was clear that many of my co-workers felt the same way.
This man had a daughter who has special needs. He also has a young son. His battle with cancer has been several years long. During his struggle with cancer he returned to work several times where he made a number of important contributions. He also achieved his masters. When his wife spoke of him at the funeral yesterday, she said she married him because she knew he would ‘make her brave.’
He has made me think of my own life. What is my contribution? What will people say about me at my funeral? My mark is to be different for sure. Even acknowledging that, his life makes me want to do more with my life. I hope that’s a tribute to him.