Along with millions around the world, I suspect, I watched as the flag-draped casket of former President George H.W. Bush was ceremoniously, and reverently, carried into the National Cathedral. As each of the eulogists spoke, I listened, eyes glistening, as they recounted the ways he had touched them, encouraged them, and left positive, indelible fingerprints on a global scale. I know this is a strange way to begin a Christmas letter, but it got me thinking about the fingerprints left on my own life, and those I’m touching with my own.
Memories come easily at this time of year, don’t they? Like a Christmas stage continually set, my mind can immediately return to visit the beloved players…my great-grandmother, singing the alto harmony to Silent Night, as she tore bread for dressing…my grandfather, dad, and uncles, playing dominoes on a worn card table…my mother and grandmother laughing together, both creating warm and beautifully decorated atmospheres for the season…my aunt, in a long, pink apron, pulling food out of the oven for my dad’s side’s family celebration…cousins running and laughing through the house…and always, family prayers, holding hands. All of it, every memory of every person, remains wrapped up as a package of love that I’ve opened over and over, all through my life. From season to season they’ve touched me, to the point that I imagine myself covered with a legacy of overlapping, indelible prints.
In the frenzied tempo of 21st century life, we don’t seem to think much about legacy. Kevin and I are constantly moving at breakneck speed, trying to keep the day-to-day operations of our insurance agency (which we are both still enjoying very much) moving forward. If we’re not across our partner’s desk from each other, with our big, year-old, standard poodle, Toby, at our feet, and our elderly gentleman, Riley, snoozing in the next room, we’re meeting each other coming and going. Maddie recently moved from Aubrey, to an apartment in Allen, to be closer to her new (in the last year) job with a property/casualty firm in North Dallas, and Emmie & Todd (still just 15 minutes away! Hurray!) are in the throes of balancing their own busy schedules with the care and keeping of three growing children (Lilli – 8.5, Brody – 5.5, and Landry – 18 months). We had a wonderful trip to Scotland in the summer to celebrate our 35th anniversary and we took a family trip to Disneyworld in November. It’s a good life – not perfect by any means – but full. However, what I was reminded of as the world bid its farewell to #41, is that while “busy” is necessary a lot of the time, it does absolutely nothing to contribute to legacy.
Legacy requires INTENTION.
So, this season, perhaps you’ll consider joining me in a bit of reprioritizing. Maybe it’s time for us to remember that eyes glued to phones are eyes that miss the real life happening beyond. Maybe we should realize that fingerprints on a computer keyboard fall WAY short of those left on the people we’ve deemed most important. I, for one, am intentionally taking a step back to look long and hard at my life. What stage am I setting for my grandbabies to return to in their minds? What will be their memories, and what gift will they reopen again and again? My prayer is that it will not only be a gift of my love, but the gift of LOVE INCARNATE…the first one given to a world shrouded in darkness…the truest legacy of all. (And maybe the sound of my voice singing about Him in an alto harmony, just to bring a smile to their faces. 😉)
After all, at the end of the day – the end of OUR days – isn’t that all that will really matter?
Merriest Christmas, dear friends who are family, and family who are friends. May yours be a season – a LIFE – of intention, love, and legacy, and may we ALL leave positive, indelible fingerprints on a global scale, starting right under our own roofs.