Two people in my life lost loved ones this past week. My partner lost a dear friend, Frances B. Mayer, and my friend, Caren Fried, lost her father, Mayer Michael Elis.
I never had the joy of meeting either of these people. I came close to meeting Frances once but our busy schedules got in the way, creating a now regretted lost opportunity. I don’t believe these two ever met each other, yet I can’t help but see a link between them.
Notice their names: Frances MAYER/MAYER Elis. Note that they both died suddenly and within a day of each other. Both had long, fulfilling marriages. Each left one son and one daughter who will miss them terribly. The name – MAYER – the Hebrew word for light – says much about both of them. They are remembered by those who loved them as beacons of light, as people who lived BIG lives. They impacted the lives of those they knew and even those they may have met only briefly. The world was their playground. They played by their own rules and they loved the game.
I listened to their loves ones talk about them. Francis Mayer and Mayer Elis, recently physically gone from this world, are now very much alive inside me.
This gave me serious pause to reflect on my own life. With the perhaps thousands of encounters I have had with loves ones, which ones will they tell others when I am gone? How will I be remembered?
Will I be remembered as the one who lost her temper or as the one who held her tongue when she wanted to explode in anger? Will they recall that I sometimes gossiped, or will the times I took the high road be more prominent in their minds? Will they remember my selfish moments or the times I showed Ahavas Yisroel, love of my fellow person and kindnesses to strangers? Perhaps they will remember the funny times when instead of crying out in frustration, we saw the humor and laughed. Or even times that were just light and filled with warmth and joy? Will the story my loved ones tell paint me in a negative light or will they remember something inspiring I may have done, something that would make me live inside the person to whom they will be speaking and inspire that person?
When I did my life coach training, we were told, “Living in the question is sometimes more important than having the answers.” This past week has certainly brought up “living in the question” for me. The question of “How do I want my children to remember me?” has no easy answer. In the early mornings before my son and daughters wake up, when I remember to ponder this and bring it to the forefront of my thoughts, my entire day is different. I live this question and attempt to answer it with my actions. I answer questions with smiles, hugs and all the kindness I can muster.
I ask you to share “living in the question” with me. Together, let’s wonder –
If we knew that we would not be waking up tomorrow –
What project that we started would we be sure to finish?
What idea that we’ve had would we be sure to start?
What would we create?
What would we get rid of or destroy?
With whom would we mend a broken fence?
How many people would we call to say, “I love you?’
In memory of these two souls who have awakened my question, I will call as many as I can and say it now. Please join me.
With tons of love,