Thursday evening we went to a memorial service for Jim’s aunt. She was 81 and led a full life. The memorial service was one like you see on TV where people got up to tell stories about her.
While the stories were told and the tears were shed, a photo slide show passed across the front wall. From childhood photos to Hollywood-star type wedding photos with Jim’s very very handsome maternal uncle to pin-up girl pictures on the beach to photos with her children and with her grandchildren.
The stories were funny and touching. I didn’t spend a lot of time with her, but after the service I liked her even more. She was treasured as a friend, neighbor, mother, and aunt. There were stories about the time she punched a future alderman of Chicago as a child (he was a child, too!) and how she was generous and kooky and how much she loved Jesus.
That made me think. Who will tell my stories when I die? And what will they be? How will I be remembered?
I live so far away from family. My kids are teenagers who think I am daft. I have great friends. Who else can tell my stories? Do I need to cultivate people who can tell them? Can I put an ad somewhere?
How do I want to be remembered? I want to make people smile when they think of me. I want them to laugh at things I said and did. I want them to be inspired by me somehow. Most of all, I don’t want anyone to remember me as ordinary. Please, don’t let me be ordinary!
I guess mid-life is when we begin thinking about these things. What seeds has our life sown? What crops will be harvested by those who remain behind?
Do you ever think of these things? Am I being completely macabre? Who will tell your stories? What will they be?