After We Die

Once a month, a group of women from Northland meet in a dear friend’s home to encourage one another on our journey as wives and mothers. A few weeks ago, we were asked what we wanted to be remembered for after we died.

I quickly counted the ladies in the room to see if there were enough that some people wouldn’t have to answer (me being one of them).

Yeah, no.

It was a small enough group; everyone would end up on the hot seat. I’m an introverted processor so I need time to think through my responses to posed questions. Even if you asked what my favorite ice cream flavor is, I’d have to categorically break it down and completely understand what it is you’re asking of me before I can answer. Are you talking about anything resembling ice cream including Jeremiah’s? Do you want to know my favorite flavor according to brand? And if so, which one? Do you mean my favorite flavor I can purchase at Publix or if I go to an ice cream parlor?

The downside (is there an upside?) to being a processor is you end up going last because you 1) are fearful you don’t completely understand the question, and 2) you are searching every catalog in your brain for an answer.

I still thought I might get away with not saying anything until it was obvious I was the last one…and then came the words, “Beverly, no pressure…”

Seriously! All of the good answers were gone. The ones about being a loving mom and wife. Someone who was gracious. A woman who was compassionate for the least of these. You get the point. And those are all such wonderful things. But none of them were the first thing I thought of.

Years ago, I actually worked through this question and wrote down all of the ways I wanted to be remembered. Forty-nine bullet points later…I wish I were kidding. I actually wrote down FORTY-NINE specific ways across FIVE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES I want to be remembered (hello, neurosis). That’s what I mean when I say I’m a processor. The problem is, I process to the degree that I drive myself nuts. I went back and looked at those forty-nine things this morning and laughed because now I know why I couldn’t think of one quickly enough to be the first to answer a simple question.

I’m not good at any of them.

*    Was always willing to turn off the television, put down my book, or stop writing immediately if my husband desired my attention. Bwahahaha! If you interrupt me when I finally get a free moment to myself, I will cut you.

*    Was a living example of those things that I taught my children. I say as I tell my daughter to turn off the iPad while I simultaneously scroll through Twitter, watch the news, and write a blog post.

*    Didn’t try to mold my children into who I wanted them to be, but rather helped develop their own unique characteristics and strengths. I bang my head on the wall because my daughter is nothing like me and I DON’T UNDERSTAND HER!

*    Never became too busy to put my children first. See the part about me getting a moment to myself…and the cutting…and the head banging.

After an awkward silence and a realization that all other decent answers were gone, I said the safe thing: I want to be remembered as someone who deeply cared about and had compassion for her students, especially the ones who felt they had no teacher advocate. And that is the truth. I sincerely hope I’ve made a difference during my time as a teacher.

But that’s not what I wanted to say. What did I really want to say?

I’m not telling.

Just know it wasn’t on my pious forty-nine item list I made six years ago.

And it might involve pizza.

The reason we think about what we want to be remembered for after we die is to give us some goals while we are alive. Goals are good.

But there are some days where the only goal I want to think about is a field goal. And pizza. Lots and lots of pizza.

1 thought on “After We Die”

  1. What do we want to be remembered for? Good thought!
    I guess for me, it is leaving the following footprints in the hearts of those closest to me. We can’t be everything to everyone, so that is why I say the closest people to me. Leaving the imprint of unconditional love, being non-judgmental, patient, always having an ear for those who need to vent, being hospitable, and last but not least, so thankful for God’s forgiveness. (Not to mention my love of pizza too!)
    As we get older, those thoughts become more profound then when we were a younger age. What will our children remember us for? I can only hope the positive input we had in their lives continues to influence them and they are forgiving of any mistakes we may have made.

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