Life After Death: My Legacy

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This weekend was positively epic. I got the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my cousins, some of which I hadn’t seen in many years. We partied, we raged, we had a hell of a rockin’ time and the cool thing about it is that we all knew that that was just who we were and how we rolled. It really always has been. If you’re one of the Moyte cousins and you get yourself in a room with us, you know you’re going home with some memories. But, the epicness of my weekend isn’t what I want to focus on now. I want to share a little something about the weekend and a couple seemingly small events that took place.

On Saturday, I went to visit my grandpa (who I so affectionately call “Grampa”). I haven’t seen him since I’ve been out here and I love the guy to death, so it was really nice to be able to spend some time with him. In his house, he has pictures of all of us grand kids. He has pictures of my grandma and him from when they were young. Looking at those photos, I felt a bit of nostalgia and a bit of sadness. My grandma passed away in December of 2000. Two of my cousins passed away as well, one in December of 2004 and one in February of 2005. While I have seen all of those photos time and time again, it was different this time. Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to understand what death means now.

My grampa surprised me by giving me three necklaces that were my grandma’s. One was a gold arrowhead on a silver chain, one was a circular pendant with a gold bird etched across it, and the other was a dainty cross that I was a little hesitant to handle because I thought I’d break it. Of all of these pieces, the cross reminded me the most of my grandma. The chain was so delicate and graceful. The cross was very small and I could totally picture her wearing it. The fact that my grampa wanted me to have these means the world to me… and it has also made me realize just how much I still miss my grandma.

Even though it has been 10 years this Christmas since she passed away, I still think about her a lot. I think about my cousin, Chris, and my cousin, Nicole, too. I miss them all like hell.

Today, before I left Cheyenne to head back to Denver, I went to visit their graves. All of their headstones were decorated with flowers, crosses, pictures and other mementos. All of them were young. All of them were and are deeply, deeply loved.

Being there reminded me of my own mortality and that none of us are guaranteed another day on this Earth. Only God truly knows how long we have and it’s up to us to make sure that we leave a good legacy for those who carry on once we pass. On the drive home, while I listened to my music, I let my thoughts wander and I started thinking about what was truly important to me. What kind of legacy do I want to leave when my day comes to take my journey Home? I thought about the kind of person I’ve become, who I want to become, the kind of people I surround myself with and the example that I want to set forth to those who look up to me. I’m definitely not perfect, but I think I’m on the right track.

What I found important were principals that I’ve weaved into my life little by little over the past few years, even the past few months. Friends will come and go, my family will always be there. Let go of the people who are toxic for me and hold on to the people who help me shine. Be honest to others, but most importantly, be honest to myself… even if the truth hurts. Pay attention to my gut feelings… they’re usually right. Let myself feel pain. Let myself be open to love. Let myself see the world through varying points of view. Do something that matters and forget the material things. Stand up for my beliefs and never let anybody tell me that I can’t do something. I can do absolutely anything.

When I remember who my grandma and my cousins were in life, I feel incredibly blessed to have known them. They were people that loved. They were people who were happy and who didn’t sweat the small stuff. They were people who left a stunning legacy for all who knew them. When it comes time for me to leave this life, I can only hope that my legacy will be as memorable for those around me.

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One response »

  1. Rachael – you have just passed one of the entry points of adulthood: realizing the brevity of this life. I just spent 6 days bedside with my mom and dad and helped my dad pick out cemetery plots for them both, so I know just how enlightening this experience is. Congratulations on an early awakening – there are so many who continue in self-centered ignorance long past their youth.

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