Do you ever wonder what people will remember about you after you are gone?
A couple weeks ago, I attended the funeral of a wonderful friend. Later the same day, I sat stunned at the heartbreaking news of the death of sportscaster, Bob Barry, Jr. What we leave behind has certainly been on my mind these days.
My friend’s service was a lot like her – warm, classy and uplifting. It was obvious she had left a lasting mark on a number of people of varying ages. When I mentioned the next day to a mutual friend that I felt sad, she told me, “Don’t be sad; she wouldn’t want that. She would tell you to enjoy your life and live it to the fullest.”
It sure sounded exactly like something she would say.
In the past couple weeks, as both a sports fan and an Okie, I’ve listened to the countless tributes to the life of Bob Barry, Jr. Whether from a close friend, a co-worker, or a fan who never even met him, the stories about him have shared a common theme – he was genuinely kind to other people.
I accidentally met Bob some years ago when I worked in the same building where he did his radio show. A co-worker and I were struggling with some boxes from our cars and trying to balance them while opening the door to go into the building. Several men were standing around just watching us.
Just then, Bob Jr. walked up and graciously held open the door for us. My co-worker, the mom of a young son, stated, “Gosh, I will have failed as a mom if I don’t raise my son to be like that.”
I can’t help but think a lot of people have been a little kinder this week, more patient, more helpful. We’ve probably all listened a little better. There is something inspiring about hearing such consistently awesome stories of how incredibly kind someone has been. I know, because I’ve been hearing it about two people all week.
Some years ago, my wonderful grandmother confided in me how she felt bad that she couldn’t buy us grandkids new cars like all her friends were doing. They only had one grandchild and she had six.
One year ago this very week, I reflected on that conversation when my “Mama Nina” died at age 99. I thought of the many lasting gifts I received from her, each of which was better than some old car. Gifts like kindness faith, courage, strength, goodness, being fair.
I find myself telling her silently what I told her all those years ago – “I’ve known you, Mama Nina. That’s all you need to leave me.”
That’s what I want people to say too.