A few years ago, while attempting to complete my Masters, I took a psych course called “The Family: A Psychological Perspective.” We were suppose to introduce ourselves and I got stuck. I had been in “mama mode,” and it was difficult to feel creative. I looked back over an assignment I did a few years ago called “What’s Your Legacy?”
With all that is going on in the world today, I try to pause and reflect on what I can bring to the table, how I can try and make a positive difference, and what I would want to be remembered for. So many individuals have varying opinions and incredibly vast experiences of what is taking place around us. Such indescribable heartache, such heartwrenching injustice, such tumultuous anger and sadness. I see strangers and friends and family and acquaintances severely divided, those desperate to feel connected and stand united, to get others to recognize, try to understand, empathize. My family and friends and affiliations are a huge melting pot of beauty and strength, charisma and color and undeniable talent, heart, gumption, boldness, experience, and aptitude. Givers, innovators and overcomers, encouragers, cycle-breakers, and trailblazer. People with fierceness, desire, sorrow, triumph, and indelible influence. Listening, I mean REALLY LISTENING to others, is my goal. I want to truly open myself to hear and see and recognize and learn. I want to give respect, receive guidance and understanding, offer and accept compassion. I welcome the taste of their viewpoints and unique journey as I’m invited to learn about the deepest crevices of their hearts and souls. Being entrusted with their relationship and valuing one another is an extraordinary gift I do NOT take lightly.
I desire this to be a safe space of mutual respect and civility, an open dialogue of vulnerability and engagement. So, again, I pose this question to you: what’s your legacy?
Here’s what I hope can be written about me:
From a young age, Wendie was a dreamer. She spent hours playing make believe, creating towns and villages for her Little People® and dolls. With these toys, she created identities, families, and friendship. As she grew older, Wendie took with her the desire to create. She would draw pictures that reflected her disposition. Eventually, she traded in her crayons and markers for a pen.
Wendie’s desire to create took shape through the written word. She used her pen mightily. With it, she wrote about friendship and adolescence, heartbreak and growth. Like a sword, her writing fought injustice, anguish, and adversity. Like a healing balm, her words dripped with compassion, triumph, and forgiveness. From her time spent teaching, working with young adults to writing for magazines and non-profits, every person who played a significant role in Wendie’s life served as a muse as she made her journey through words.
Wendie’s kindness, loyalty, and encouragement were her best qualities. She went the extra mile, trying to promote good in the world. While she faced more than her share of sorrows and tragedy, she was an overcomer. Although waxing and waning through the years, her faith helped soften a heart that empathized with the plight of many. Wendie volunteered her time, talents, and voice to organizations that needed to be heard.
She loved fiercely. Wendie was a dedicated friend who went to great lengths to show her care for others. She was known to give helpful advice, and though she struggled with criticism, she learned to use it to her advantage to become a better version of herself.
Wendie was adventurous and a thrill-seeker at heart. She liked the feeling of freedom but enjoyed the safety of her husband’s embrace. Wendie left this world with a smile; knowing that all the chapters in the storybook of her life were a culmination of events meant to happen. After all, this was part of her legacy, her journey through words.
What’s your legacy?