Today I’m writing about legacy. About the impact we have on others for years to come…..about the powerful ripple effect of our lives.
My dad is in the hospital, as many of you know, so after 8 days now of driving back and forth from Methodist Hospital, I know the route inside and out. I know where the traffic congestion is likely to be, I know which lane on 410 to get in to avoid delays, and I know how very much I love the regal row of Crape Myrtle trees on Medical Dr.
The first time I rounded the corner and saw them they took my breath away. There are 11 HUGE (no exaggeration, didn’t even know they grew this big) Crape Myrtle trees lining the street, going up this hill. They are in full bloom and their flower is a deep rich pink color. Now I know I am a total sap, but I was brought to tears first time I saw them.
Here I was, driving out to see my dad, day one after surgery, so much on my mind, and WHOOSH, there are these extravagant “beings” planted there just for me, for that day. Or just for the person behind me or the one after that. You see, these massive blooming creatures provided me peace, joy, and a knowing that everything was/is going to be alright.
They were God’s message to me that day, and each day since, that peace and beauty are abundantly around us, no matter what is going on in our lives. They remind me to breathe, to be, to trust and to smile. It’s like they are this Universal Royal Guard, standing tall for me, holding me up in this trying time. It’s another opportunity for me to receive the bliss of God.
Part of my tears that first day was the realization that someone had had enough foresight to plant this long row of little trees years and years ago. That someone was connected, whether consciously or not, to their legacy such that they began something that probably didn’t look all that special, in hopes of a glorious future vision.
Dang that is so cool to me! My intention is to be this way. To be constantly sowing, sowing, sowing, aware that every thing I say or do has a ripple effect. Even my attitudes ripple out to others. Even the internal unspoken conversations ripple out to those I am around, and I suggest even out to the larger world and down through the generations.
We have an amazing privilege to impact, whether we want it or not. It’s not a burden, oh no, it’s what is most beautiful and creative about us. The next time you feel any pressure about this, just relax, and shift your perspective to one of opportunity, of gift, and of glory. That shift, in and of itself, will lift you up and assist you in sending out ripples of love, compassion and dignity.
My father, here in his hospital bed, is leaving his legacy to me and to everyone who walks in his room. He calls his nurses angels, and he is gracious and thankful and charming, even in his exhausted painful state. He’s teaching me so many things that I will pass on to my boys and to those who come after me. He’s teaching me about true strength and authenticity. He’s teaching me about friendship and caring for others. He’s showing me how to be a faithful parent. Wow oh wow.
Both of my parents are like those regal crape myrtles lining the road, blossoming with love, care, wonder and passion. They have obviously chosen to be positive legacy leave-ers……and I see and feel the effect of their ripples far and wide.
So really this is all quite simple. It’s a matter of deciding to be a person who lives from the heart.
Someone who knows that their mission is one of Light and Love and Peace.
Someone willing to create a life of Joy.
Someone who will believe in love.
The next time you see a Crape Myrtle say a prayer of gratitude for those who have gone before you and for the delightful privilege of leaving your legacy for others.