At the end of my life who do I want to be? What would I like to be remembered as and for? Since Merin's death I have spent a fair amount of time trying to figure this out. Not in a self-indulgent or self-important sort of way but more because she inspires me. Her life was brief but she touched so many people in beautiful and significant ways. The other day I was speaking with a friend and she referred to Merin as "special" and then said "but you have heard that before." I have, but like being told "I love you", it never gets old and is always welcome - a comfort.
Merin was generous with herself - she gave and received love openly and joyously. She was generous in giving approval and encouragement. She tried, in a conscious manner, to do her best - whether it was in dance, in homemaking, in being a sister, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a child of God. She glowed. Really she did - I always thought of her as a pearl. So precious. And she was happy. Of course, she had her moments and days like all of us do but overall, that was/is Merin. One of her good friends described her as "pure joy and grace", a description that is exactly perfect. I knew her so very well and I couldn't think of better words. These are things that over and over again people say about her.
So, again, I think - who do I want to be? What do I want to share? How do I want to be remembered? I think of these questions not because I want acclaim or honor but for myself. It doesn't matter really what others say or think because they can be misled by appearances. It matters to me though that I am a genuine, caring person. Talents and achievements are only self-serving unless offered unselfishly to others. To make a beautiful home for the comfort of loved ones is a credit but to create a showpiece for praise seems somehow shallow and meaningless.
To be honest I don't know that I want to know what others say about me now or when I eventually die - for sure there is some good and some bad as well. What I am trying to know is for myself. I know that when I am focused on the goal I am so much more content than when I am concerned about my performance and how it is being perceived by others.
I read the quote from Erma Bombeck the other day and was immediately struck with a feeling of agreement and recognition. I too, want to be able to say that I have used every little bit that I have been blessed with. It is a matter of love and gratitude - of sharing.