A dear friend recently lost her mother unexpectedly. Via Facebook, she allowed her friends to be bystanders to this tough chapter of her life. From the rapid escalation of her mother’s sudden illness, to the moving poem my friend wrote and read at the funeral, to the emotional task of disposing of the house and furnishings of her childhood, we got a tiny glimpse into the life of an amazing woman. But one of my friend’s most recent posts posed a question I hadn’t thought of before: have you ever wondered who would write the epitaph on your tombstone?
I have to admit, I hadn’t. While I don’t think I care much about what’s on my tombstone, I do care, a lot, about what I leave behind. As a mother, I want to leave behind happy, well-adjusted children who know God and how to laugh. As a leader, I want to leave behind lives I’ve made just a little better for having touched them; corporate America can be a stressful, degrading, even soul-sucking desert…it can also be an easy place to hold up a candle. And as a human, I want to live my whole life having never given up seeking God. I struggle and fall…every day…but I believe that God expects only that we get back up, dust ourselves off, and sincerely try again. I’m getting to my feet now – today’s a new day.
“And were an epitaph to be my story, I’d have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” –Robert Frost