As I sit on the airplane, it rocks back and forth, lurches and lifts and fights the turbulence. It’s one of the ways I imagine I’ll die, a plane crash. So, is this it?
Actually I’m writing this as it happens so either some day this will be posted online or it will sit forever swallowed by the Gulf of Mexico.
I have a horrible obsession with make sure my life is in order. Not just our will and trust and all that fun stuff but that my daughters know me. Not things that I sit down and tell them, but my thoughts and feelings on this that they might not really understand until they are older. I call this my mom legacy.
This isn’t something new. Just before our third daughter was born, I bought the book “My Prudent Advice: Lessons for my daughter.” This most recent trip was an opportunity actually start writing in it. (Yes, it took three years!)
There were questions in it such as the qualities I find important in friends, the types of things that government has done to improve our quality of life in my lifetime. It asked about my first job, where I’ve failed in my career and where I’ve succeeded. These are things my children can’t possibly relate to until they are in the thick of it. But I’m writing it, for the future.
For times like these, I write. The future is uncertain. I could die on this airplane today or in a car accident tomorrow. I could have a heart attack in 10 years or die peacefully in my sleep when I’m 100, but I still need to leave this for them.
When my grandpa died three years ago, we all met at my grandma’s house to look at pictures and put together some memory boards. There was a side of my grandpa and my grandma that I never saw in those pictures. Notes and memories. Things that made them.
Taking pictures and jotting down memories is so vitally important to me. It’s all how I try to leave a mom legacy. Whether my grandkids are perusing through them after I’m gone or my daughters inherit them next week, I feel this strong urge to leave this thumbprint for them. A marking of who I was besides their mama. What i loved, what I hated, what I felt. It seems this could create a connection between us, one that we didn’t even know existed.
In the long-run, it doesn’t matter. My legacy doesn’t matter here. I’ll see them again in Heaven. Yet still I feel drawn to creating a piece of me here, a piece that creates some understanding for my kids or their kids, or even my great-great grandkids.
A few years ago, I stopped using Facebook to document passive aggressive thoughts and post ridiculous in-side jokes. Instead, I’ve been treating it like a scrapbook of sorts. I note #stuffmadisonsays, pictures of trips we take, notes about days that truly matter.
Some day, I’d like to have a Social Book printed. In fact, I’ve started them several different times but the price seems extravagant when we have so many other things to spend money on…like repairing our daughter’s broken arm or replacing broken glasses. But someday, someday my time will come. Or there will be a really great Groupon.
**You hear that Social Book, put me on your mailing list for the next BIG DEAL. (And I mean big deal because I’m a mama with three kids in parochial school and a part-time job that just gets us through).
I also make Project Life albums as I can. I print the important pictures that the kids can physically touch should they ever need to or want to. They love to look at their baby books, so why stop now?
These are the ways I’m trying to leave our story behind.
So the airplane has leveled out and we are probably about 45 minutes from decent. I’m hoping this means the worst of this flight is behind me and that our connection flight will be calm and serene.
Otherwise I’ll remember to get the Xanax out of my bag before we take off.
So, how do you try to leave your memory or your mom legacy? Has this become more important to you since having kids?
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