Over the past year, an astounding number of my friends, family, and acquaintances of mine have lost their lives. Some of these loses have been tragic; others just the natural passing of a life well lived.
What has stuck out the most for me is how each one of these individuals is remembered by those closest to them. There isn’t anything quite like death to make you take a closer look at life.
I am a mama of three wonderful children who enrich my life and, admittedly, push me to my limits on nearly a daily basis. Sometimes I think that Etsy mug that says, “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here” was made just for me. But, mostly, my cup runneth over with gratitude and love for my son and two daughters.
I am imperfect, as a human being, but my children’s existence motivates me to never quit trying to be better. With the passing of those close to us and those who are gone too soon, I have been asking myself these questions: What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? If I were to die tomorrow (God forbid), how would I be remembered by those who know me?
Over the last couple of weeks, I have prepared meals for a family who was in the process of losing their beloved mother to cancer. And at times my children were forced to wait (im)patiently while I grabbed the zucchini bread from the oven or the soup from the stove.
I would gently say to them, “Aren’t we so fortunate to be going out to do fun things? This family is losing someone close to them and through these meals I’m trying to lessen the pain just a fraction. Please be patient.” In the back of my mind, I was also thinking that I want my children to remember me as someone who set an example of kindness and compassion, self-sacrifice and service, and that maybe someday they, too, will help others in need.
So much of what we do as mothers goes unnoticed. Like, did anyone notice last week when I organized the linen closet and deep cleaned the refrigerator? Of course not! And, sometimes, it is disheartening. But there are two quotes that help to remind me that my hard work is worth it:
“The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” – Harold B. Lee
“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln
On the days that I feel underappreciated and burnt out, I try to keep these in mind because while my family may not always notice the little things I do for them, they will remember that I took good care of them, they lived in a happy home, and they learned empathy and kindness because we, as a family, actively searched out ways to help others.
Someday when I pass, I want this to be what my children remember.
Because after all, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. I want to leave a legacy that makes the world a little brighter, a touch softer, and my children proud to have me as their mama.
Pat yourself on the back, mama. Have a happy heart about all the wonderful and unique ways you enrich the world around you, especially within those walls of your home.
Make your legacy a marvelous one!
Hi! I’m Autumn. I’m a wife and a mom of 3, and my passions aside from raising my children are my faith, food, and fitness. I appreciate the little things and truly believe laughter is the best medicine…along with a cup of tea.