Leaving a Legacy

My cousin and I were born four months apart.  Technically she IS older than me so I can always send her those funky birthday cards that joke about age.  Don’t tell her I said this, but I think she might have more laugh lines than me (a.k.a wrinkles J ).  Honestly she has always been way more mature and much wiser – big surprise, right?

We grew up together – closer than sisters.  She turned to me when she found out she had juvenile diabetes.  I turned to her when my oldest had cancer.  She turned to me when her first grandchild was born with a heart defect, and on and on.  Over the years we have always been there for each other – a phone call away. It is one of those relationships where you might not talk for months on end – but when I do call she is right there by my side through thick and thin.  Saying we are close doesn’t even really begin to describe our relationship.

Her dad passed away a couple of years ago.  He was a great guy.  One of those gruff on the outside – but like a kitten on the inside kind of guys.  He was my favorite uncle.  And I miss him greatly.

But I don’t mourn him.

Today a great friend of mine lost his mother.  She was a wonderful woman.  I remember her as warm and friendly and I always looked forward to speaking with her.  I will miss her greatly.

But I won’t mourn her.

My wise old cousin J taught me a long time ago that we cannot live our lives as captives to death.  Each minute that we have together is a gift from God.  But the true blessing really is in our passing and more so in what legacy we leave behind.  My cousin always set a good example of living a life rejoicing in the time we have together here on earth. She encouraged me to look forward to rejoicing in eternity.  It is no mistake that the antonym for mourn is REJOICE!

Each day I hope that I am passing my cousin’s wisdom on to my kids.  I hope that they see life as a gift and death as eternity spent rejoicing.

And I hope that when I die no one will mourn me.

“You have turned my mourning into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever”  Psalm 30:11-12 

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