If anyone knows how fragile the life of a parent is…I do. My parents died within the span of a few months when I was 19 years old—Mama from cancer and Daddy from a car accident. They were gone before I even knew I had questions that I would love to hear answered.
It is an odd thing in my existence to continually confront the fact that the most precious and important people in my life—Polly, Austin, and Adam—never even met the other two most precious and important people in my life—my Mama and Daddy.
Sure, Polly and the boys have seen pictures of my parents and heard stories about them, but they’ve never seen a video or read a letter either one of them wrote. They don’t REALLY KNOW my parents and that has always been a bit sad for me. It has been an uneasy feeling as well.
Now…what does this have to do with you?
I believe you and I must be on a search for the treasures our family members leave in their wake. The notes, the e-mails, the underlined (now set aside) devotion book or journal from last year…all these items must be kept and safeguarded! These items—perhaps placed in a secret treasure chest—will eventually be more important than any money you might leave behind.
One day, your great, great grandchildren can read these priceless scraps and know the blood that runs through their veins! It is a legacy they will touch, and one to which they will cling in times of turmoil.
Don’t forget to add your own written words or captioned pictures to the treasure chest. Inscribe a book or two to your heirs as well. Write IN THE BOOK exactly why, and at what age, that particular book is required reading for them. It won’t hurt to read the book again before you place it in the treasure chest for good. Write in the margins! Point out the things you want them to see and understand. Do this in longhand.
To this day, when I come across a recipe Mama copied from some magazine or Daddy’s directions to a hunting camp, I am mesmerized by their handwriting! So leave your own “chickenscratch” for your family to savor years from now.
Let’s you and I endeavor to leave physical proof that theirs is a legacy of kindness, wisdom, compassion, understanding, gentleness, and great humor.
What written treasures have your family members left behind? What are you planning to leave behind for your family?