By Sandy Rose
Reflection on our life seems to be more common for my age group. We are so busy moving forward in our youth, there doesn’t seem to be time to “look back”. As we age, we do tend to reflect on our successes and failures. Perhaps we try to justify our decisions or explain our mistakes, at least in our ow1n mind, to make “peace” with our past. There is a need to know we have fulfilled a purpose for our life, rather than just pass through time. We are told to move forward, not to dwell on past successes or failures, but to take each new day as a challenge, making the most of every opportunity presented to us. I agree with this outlook, but still find myself evaluating past decisions. Even knowing I can’t change the past, I want to be able to prevent mistakes in the present by facing personal shortcomings in my decision-making process.
Writing my memoirs has given me an opportunity to reflect on what I have and have not accomplished in my life. Hopefully, my life isn’t over, but I am much more aware of the passing of time. It has become important to me to try and find contributions I’ve made to better the lives of those around me and to those who will come after me. I have attended all too many funerals of friends and relatives where we celebrate their lives and how they touched our lives, as well as shared the blessing of knowing that person. I sincerely believe we all have a calling and purpose in this life.
In a general sense, I feel our generation has represented our country with dignity and patriotism. We have worked hard, sought higher education for our children and saved for our future. We’ve accepted and learned to use the rapid advancements in technology. We have traveled more and seen more of our country and world than the generation before us ever dreamed of achieving. We have tried to right wrongs in our society, bring equality to all people, regardless of race or gender, and bring peace to other countries that seek our help. We have also left the next generation with a huge national debt, half of our nation on welfare, yet more people wanting to come to America than any other country. Freedom and opportunities still thrive in our nation. Education is available to everyone; something that was not always available to the generation before us.
Personally, it is hard for me to say what my legacy will be. I’ve always felt my greatest accomplishment was my children. I’ve seen the lives my daughter has touched with her teaching ability, both her own children and those in the schools. My daughter and my son have been very active in church and community work, wherever they lived. My son was also very diligent in teaching his children by example and direction. Now the grandchildren are showing character traits of their parents and a desire to be leaders and examples of integrity to their generation. It seems as I write these memoirs, I see how individuals have touched my life, but I think I will have to wait until we all meet in heaven to know the result of my life. I will keep trying to be a friend, to care for others needs and be a blessing, as those I have known were a blessing to me. If a smile or simple kindness can brighten another’s day, it will make that day worthwhile for both of us. That’s all we have, one day, to try and do our best in small ways that makes each day we have our legacy.