Memorial Day Reflection: What Will Your Legacy Be?
Today is Memorial Day, a day of respect, acknowledgment and remembering fallen soldiers and loved ones that have passed on. It is also a day of nostalgia and reflection on our own lives and how we would like to be honored and remembered when we are gone.
Parents, this is a great opportunity to reflect on your relationship with your children and think about the lessons you want to teach your children about life, relationships, friendships, career aspirations and self-love.
Here are a few questions to help get you started:
1. Do you value money, a nice house, nice car and/or keeping up with your neighbors over free time, enjoyable experiences and spending time with the people you love?
2. Have you taught your children skills for financial success? For emotional connection and healthy relationships?
3. When your child, be in young or old, falls down, do you encourage her/him to get back up, giving the experience of learning to figure it out themselves, or do you do it for them?
4. What messages have you given your kids about romantic relationships and/or marriage? Do you value happiness over stability. Are you happy in your adult relationships?
Last Wednesday marked the 3 year anniversary of my mother's passing. As I sat on the soft green grass next to her tombstone, recalling memories of catching up over a cup of coffee, playing Connect Four, sharing poetry together, I said a prayer of thanks.
A week after my first birthday, my mother wrote an article about me entitled, "A Mother's Legacy For Her Daughter." I'd like to share a few of her thoughts as you think about your legacy.
"I want so much for her... to have a strong sense of who she is and to have others like her,
without sacrificing herself to please them. I want her to feel that her thoughts, opinions and feelings
are heard and counted. I want her to do things I never dared to try. If she makes a mistake, she has
not failed, for it is through her mistakes that she will learn. I want her to experience that sweet, sweet
taste of success and to have her accomplishments justly recognized. I want her to be strong - to be able
to overcome the inevitable crises in her life, if need be. I want her to be able to make her mark on this
world - to be President if she wants to.
This article, written so many years ago, puts a smile on my face and propels me forward on those tough days - we all have them sometimes - and I feel surrounded with love even though she passed on.
I hope sharing my story with you will help you pause and consider what you want your legacy to be.
Until next time.
Sara Minges, LPC, Play Therapist