Like many of you I have had the unfortunate experience of attending the funeral of a beloved family member or friend. Please keep reading. I know the opening is morbid and, frankly, quite sad, but there is a good message here. Last week was a tough week. I attended a funeral, and it was the ten year anniversary of my grandfather’s passing. I cannot believe a decade has gone by since I saw him last.
I have witnessed several eulogies over the years, but I have never given much thought to what one might say about me. What would my wife say? What would my daughter say? How will my friends remember me? Only now can I be proactive in answering these questions. How will I be remembered? This is one tough question. Here is my response.
I want to be…
A person of integrity
In a world where there is so much cheating and deceiving we need people who are trustworthy. We need people who can be accepted at their word. I want to be known for speaking truth and encouragement following up my words with appropriate action. I want to be a person whom others can count on when I say I will do something.
Loving and kind
I have a daughter. I’m sure you have heard it said that daughters marry men who are like their fathers. I’m not sure how accurate that statement is. Nevertheless, I want my daughter to one day marry someone who loves her as unconditionally as I do. I want her to find someone who is kind and gentle but is not afraid to take a bold stand for what is right. Let my daughter say that she remembered Dad to be this way. Let me show her and her mother the love and kindness they deserve.
A hard worker who fought to keep his family first
Anyone who knows me understands this to be very important to me. I believe one can hustle hard, have lasting relationships, and still keep his/her family the priority. My family are the one’s God has directly given me to lead. What kind of leader would I be if I could lead a church, business, or group but could not lead my own family? Chances are the aforementioned would suffer as well. Let them say that I chose dance recitals over business meetings.
There is a famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin. He said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This pretty much sums up the purpose of this post. I must be proactive now, but I also want to model a good work ethic to my children. I think back on times in high school and college when I did not plan. My grades, although not bad, still reflected my poor planning. My grades in my graduate program, however, were much better and were the outcome of better planning. I may not be able to control how I leave this world, but I do have a little control of how others might remember me.
How will others remember you? Do you have a plan for your life? Do you keep your family first? What kind of person do you want to be?
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