I heard that phrase SO many times last week. Then again, there were those who read my name tag and stared intently, as they rifled through those memories;stored away for 30 years, looking for this face, but a younger version in their mind’s box of photos. They were hoping that my voice, the way I waved my hands as I spoke, a private joke, a familiar story would suddenly bring a young Barb to their minds. Many were able to locate me, way back in their memory banks, others were happy to introduce themselves and move on to the next group of alumni. Thirty years is a long time. . .but some, some remembered me very well. What was it that kept me in their thoughts all these years?
I can only determine that their experience was much like my own. I really didn’t remember any painful moments. . really, only fun, laughter, private jokes, moments of great care and kindness shown to me. There were some that I remembered as “popular” and only sharing a few conversations with, a thin, unruly-haired band-geek like me. I wondered, were those moments enough to etch me into their memories as well? Probably not. . . but, then again, there are always some that surprise you.
We had a great time, shared lots of stories, took many pictures and vowed to never lose touch again. The real lesson of the night, for me, is not in the past. It is about how I live TODAY. How will others remember this person that I am right now? Will they recall a woman who complained, saw the glass half-empty or life as a series of mishaps that lead to death? I hope, that I will be remembered as a woman of God. I hope I am remembered as one that was able to love, even the unlovely. I want to be the one that spoke life to those in her life, even as she faced death. In fact, I hope no one really remembers ME as much as they remember the One I live for. The One that breaths life into me each day.
How will you be remembered in 30 years? Who do “they” say YOU are? Do you love intentionally? Let’s live each day to make a difference in someone else’s life. It follows that in turn, your life is enriched as that love is returned, remembered and passed on to another. Really, that’s our immortality. I plan to live forever. . .