but perhaps the legacy i think of most and the story i want to share with you is one of my dad's legacies, which entails giving new life to discarded, tarnished silverware ...
my dad was a farmer and grain buyer. he was well respected for his honesty and hard work in taking grain into his country elevator and shipping it out for the best prices. he was renown for the ability to take a head of grain, rub the kernels out in the palm of his hand, gently blow the chaff away and then grade the grain with outstanding precision. a number of young farmers have commented to me how much they learned about grain farming from my dad.
then, the day came when mom and dad had to move from their life long country home to town. it was an extremely difficult transition for my dad. he found the days long as he didn't really have any hobbies, but really liked to tinker with his hands.
i knew he would have to do something that he felt was useful and productive. the light came on for me one day when i spied a pail of old silverware that my husband had picked up for me at a garage sale, knowing i would do 'something' with them 'some day'.
this one pail led to easily a thousand or more forks, spoons, knives that would be pounded, drilled and carefully threaded with fishing line to make delightful and delicate sounding garden wind chimes!
even though this magnificent pastime helped lift my dad's depression, it didn't really help with the ever increasing dementia that was changing this man's mind, thoughts and actions. you see, i had created this 'monster' who we could no longer keep in spoons and forks, (we had bought all the ones we could in the shops in town and they couldn't keep up!), and in dad's demented mind, it was more important to make these gifts to give to people than it was to 'take' the spoons from the local coffee shop to fulfill his task.
i received a few calls from the local authorities that someone had nearly hit dad on his scooter as he raced a million miles an hour, never stopping at stop signs, to the coffee shop or to deliver chimes.
and yes, calls from the cafe saying another bunch of spoons had gone missing, and at their insistence, i would simply pay for replacements as they recognized it was more important for dad to have his daily coffee and visits with friends. i can not express the gratitude for the blessings, graciousness and kindness of living in a small rural town ~ legacies in their own rights ...
and ... to pay forward his act of kindness would be the ultimate legacy.
i feel blessed to be surrounded by legacy in many forms and love how it spins and weaves the very threads of all our existence.
and, if in my time on this earth, i touch one person just once ... smile at them, talk with them, be kind, make them feel good and important in who they are ... and if that is how they remember me, what they saw in me as a legacy, then my life would be full and complete.
go gently, speak kindly