Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's your story?

I survived the funeral yesterday. I was struck by the number of people who had been affected by my mother-in-law. I felt much the same at my father-in-law's funeral. I learned from both events that having friends is important not only in life but in death as well. Both times I couldn't help but wonder what kind of memories I'd leave behind.

I think people would say I made them laugh. Or I made myself laugh in front of them. Often.

I didn't follow the rest of the world. My mother said this was "following the beat of my own drummer". This translated into a harder world for me but one that felt true.

I was a good mother. Much to everyone's surprise this was true.

I was a decent daughter who could have done better.

I wasn't good at domestic things but I was a adept at finding fun.

I felt most at peace on a beach, specifically Ocean City, NJ. But really any beach will do.

Growing up with a deceased parent affected me. I wanted to live long enough to make sure my kids remembered me. Each year that passes is more time they'll remember. Now I want more. I want to see them grow up and see what they'll choose to do with their lives. That will be exciting.

I realize that most people don't think this way. My funeral has been planned since I was 9 years old. I've often wondered if that was because my mind is warped or because of how I grew up. I was thrilled when my mother showed me the old movie "Meet Me in St. Louis." It starts with a little kid burying her dolls and having funerals for them. I knew I wasn't alone (though I must admit I've never done that.)

So what kind of history will you leave?

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