Building a legacy

I’m not getting any younger. Some days I am more aware of this than others.

The days I am feeling especially aware, I wonder if I will ever accomplish everything I want to. At the top of that list is leaving something behind for my kids whenever the Good Lord decides to call me home.

I always expected that I would buy or build a house, and that I would be able to leave it behind for my kids. I want to build up a nice little nest egg that will take care of their needs whenever I am gone. And I am nowhere near either of those goals. We live in a nice little apartment and I have enough in my bank account to take care of our needs, but I don’t have much more than that at the moment.

And if I can’t leave behind a house and an inheritance for my kids, can I leave them anything at all?

The answer is yes. I can leave behind a legacy of love.

I can make sure that my kids don’t feel ignored or forgotten.┬áThat home (even a little apartment) is somewhere they feel safe and free.

I can wake up early on Saturday to take Isaiah out for a special breakfast (or let him help me make one at home).

I can give up some of my free time to take Rahela out for a walk, or put my phone down while Isaiah spends 5 minutes telling me how big he is getting because he ate his food.

My family has never been rich. I didn’t get a brand new car for high school graduation, or a fancy apartment to live during my time in college. But I always had what I needed, and I always knew I was loved. Now that I’m a parent myself, I know that required a lot of time and effort from my parents. Those things don’t just happen.

And I would never trade the amazing memories from my childhood for a better car, house, or account balance at any point in my life. I can tell my kids about the time my dad surprised me at school in 4th grade with an awesome birthday party with my entire class. And how at least for that day, I wasn’t the shy quiet kid anymore. I can tell how my mom would let me sneak into her room at 2 or 3 am and wake her up. Not only did she not strangle me, but she would actually get out of bed and take me to the gas station for a late night snack. And these are the things I remember when I am feeling tired or just not in the mood, but Isaiah is desperate for me to help him do the same puzzle for the 50th time. And suddenly I don’t feel so tired because I just want to love my son the way my parents loved me. That is what a legacy of love looks like. And that is what I want to leave my kids.

There are days when I all see are the things that I can’t offer my family yet, and it is often overwhelming–like trying to stay on your feet as a tidal wave of doubt comes crashing down on you. That’s when I try to remember the things that I can give them.

Of course I would still love a house and big yard for them to enjoy and one day take over as their own. Maybe that will come in time, and maybe it won’t. But I can, and will, keep building a legacy of love–one that they can pass down their children eventually.


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