I was thinking recently about everything we actually get in life and how that list is often in contradiction with the list of what we want to get in life. More importantly to note, is how the list differs from its’ creation in our youth, to the amended list we create in maturity. (Notice how I expertly dodge the phrase ‘old age’?) Now at the risk of sounding greedy I, like any normal person, want material things. Who doesn’t? Everybody wants the nice home, car, financial security – who aspires to drive a heap, live in a hovel, and spend their lives robbing Peter to pay Paul? What I mean here by ‘what we want’ is the stuff that really matters, the stuff that tugs at our heart-strings, the stuff that makes us laugh out loud, the stuff that makes us proud, and ultimately, the stuff that makes us feel like we’ve made it.
We want to be surrounded by a loving and prolific family. (the not-so-loving family, and we all have that, we can do without) We want good health. We want security, safety, and creature comforts. We even want the little perks (ok, I do) and when we realize, later in life, that we’re not going to get them…..well, it stinks….because we feel we’ve been ripped off. (ok, I do)
I was a good girl. I didn’t cause my parents any grief. I’ve been a good wife, partner and parent, and for the most part, I’ve been a pretty good friend, albeit my circle is small by my choosing. (I really don’t like a lot of people) What I didn’t get a lot of in life, is breaks. Nothing came easily and some things never came at all, and I know from experience others had an easier go of it. Some would say this is the path I chose but let’s face it, I’d have to be stupid to ‘choose’ struggle. So, I’ve decided to modify the final analysis of my accomplishments .
When I die (are you listening family, friends?) I want to be celebrated for all the things I did,,,,,and even the ones I didn’t, and all the neat stuff I meant to give you (it wasn’t my fault I didn’t have the means) because my intention was there. I want you to go through my belongings with optimism. I love colour so remember me as a snappy dresser, not as a garish one. Value my very favourite treasures, like my purses, (just pretend each is an expensive sports car) Divide up my table linens because I love nothing more than a beautifully set table awaiting guests (ok, I have a lot of those) and pretend they are placed in the house I left you (but didn’t because I couldn’t afford to) Copy my best recipes and give them to friends,,,,as gifts,,,,because they are.
Make sure there’s LIVELY music at my funeral, none of that morose church crap that calls us all sinners (then asks for our generosity in the collection plate) and I want flowers, lots and lots of flowers,,,,so many you’re tripping over them. Because anyone who knows me knows I love fresh flowers (they should also know I bought most of my own) and most importantly I want laughter. Reminisce about all the smart things I did, (granted the list could be short here) and all the stupid things I did, and remember how much I laughed, cause it was (is) a lot.
I don’t have a lot in life, not the material things anyway, but I do have a lot ‘of’ life. I can’t drive it, or spend it (On the bright side I also don’t have to clean it) but it’s all made by me, and that is what I share with you. That is what I will leave to you. (sorry, it is non-refundable and has no cash value) That will be my legacy.