Legacy of Love

What do you do when your body betrays you and you can no longer command your limbs or your eyes or your tongue?  What do you do when your walk becomes a stumble and then you fall and there’s no way up except on another person’s arm?

I remember the first time I saw my mom fall.  She had stumbled before and I’d noticed that it was happening more frequently but one day she fell and couldn’t get up again.  Her tears frightened me and I ran to help her up but all I could do was get her to the edge of the room where she could lean up on the wall.

I remember asking her what I should do.  I was panicking.  She told me it was okay.  She would wait for my dad to come home from work.  Until then, she would crawl where she needed to go.  My voice rose and broke as I repeated, “Crawl?”  She smiled through her tears and nodded.  Then she told me that she was grateful that she could.

I learned about Multiple Sclerosis that day.  I learned about the diagnosis and why she’d been sick for so long.

Eventually, she was unable to voluntarily move at all.  She wore diapers and received nourishment through a gastronomy tube.  And she never lost her smile or her gratitude.

This morning, the last day of 2013, I’m thinking of the legacy of love and gratitude that she left me.  The legacy of faith and grace.  She wasn’t blessed with health and it’s hard for me to think about the struggles.  About the way she suffered silently, but think about it I must because it’s in the light of that suffering that she shined so beautifully right up until the day she died, body bent and broken and ruined.

I want to create that kind of legacy for my children and the people I love.  I want to create that kind of legacy, period.  In the end it’s all that survives, the love and kindness that we show.  Or the opposite.  That survives too.

Each and every day we are living our legacy.  We are teaching our children how to be.  We are touching the world.

In 2014 I want to grow ever more in the direction of love and kindness.  I want to be like my mom and create a legacy of love.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jesse on December 31, 2013 at 5:38 am

    It is a beautiful goal, and if anyone can achieve it, it is you.

    Reply

  2. You are a beautiful soul. I wish you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness and prosperity in the coming New Year.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Sheri on December 31, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Love and Kindness, a beautiful legacy to be passed down generation to generation!

    Reply

  4. Posted by Chickee on December 31, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I think you have achieved your goal. =) Now you can make it grow and grow and pass it along so that we (and your children) can do the same. <3

    Reply

  5. Your mom sounds like my mom and I can so relate to this post….knowing what it feels like to look at this little woman that everyone thinks of as ‘broken’ and frail and knowing that opinion (and pity) could not be further from the truth! Knowing the strength, courage and grace that resides in that being is well beyond anything most people will ever experience. Her disease finally won out over her body and ended her life but I’m still in awe of how she met her challenges with kindness, a smile and pure ferocity. ‘Poor thing…so frail and weak….’ They had no clue!

    Reply

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