What would your legacy be? And why should you care?
I attended a friend's funeral lately. He was someone who was more like a dad to me. His death reminded me of my dad's death. After a long battle with Alzheimer's, my dad passed away about seven years ago.
He was 87. He got married much later in life and had kids at a stage when most people would be dealing with teenagers.
Death often reminds me of the kind of legacy I would leave behind.
What I remember most about my dad:
- He was instrumental in inspiring me toward a career in finance.
- He gave me a love for economics, and I could easily unpack its concepts.
- My dad was the most positive person I have met in my life.
- He was an amazing cook. Sometimes, when he returned from work, he would wear his long-sleeved shirt and dress pants in an apron to help with the cooking.
- His relationship with my mother was rocky for the first half of their marriage. But something changed within him when I was a teenager, and he became a very devoted husband in the second half of their marriage. So I am glad they stuck it out.
- My dad was kind. He would give the shirt off his back to a friend in need.
- He was also a man of faith.
- Most importantly, my dad believed in me and that I could achieve anything I wanted. And if my dad believed it, so did I!
If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, I would have it with my dad — one last time — to tell him how much I appreciate the legacy he left in me!
I imagined my epitaph at my funeral that I loved those closest and had a good sense of humor. But unfortunately, there would only be a few attendees since I've traveled a lot and lived on different continents, and I have never been one to nurture long-term close friendships.
My need for independence and freedom may be partly to blame. But even as an independent, freedom-loving individual, I can still leave a meaningful legacy.