What I’ll Leave Behind

We lost a lot of people in 2016. I don’t just mean celebrities, though those did suck. We also had so many travesties, mass shootings and natural disasters that I don’t even want to count all of them.

I realize , now more than ever, that we really can all die at any time. Yeah, my great grandmother’s both lived into their nineties, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to. I could die before you even read this, since I batch write all of my articles. That’s right, if I die you’ll probably sill get several more articles from me.

I’ve started thinking about what I’ll leave behind when I go.

I’ll leave books, of course. Lots of books, I hope. That’s one of my favorite things about being a writer. When I’m gone I’ll leave my art to be enjoyed for generations of readers, in the same way that some of my favorite authors did. Shel Silverstein was gone in 1999, but my girls still love him. Charles Dickens is still read and enjoyed by new readers every year.

I might even leave notes for new books, for my daughters to finish. Lots of writers do. Robert Jordan published three books after he died, thanks to Brandon Sanderson.

The best thing I’ll leave behind though, will be my daughters. They’ll tell stories about me to their children and grandchildren, the same way I tell them stories about our family before. In that way my great grandmothers live on still. They’ll find themselves saying the same things to their kids that I say.

“Enunciate!”

“If there’s ever a day where I’m not worried about where you are in a store that’s a problem.”

“I don’t care how old you are, you’re still my kid.”

More than that, I hope that they’ll live their lives remembering what I teach them about being women.

Be kind to all animals, even when they scare you.

Learn when to say no.

Just because you and someone love each other, doesn’t mean you should be together. Despite the common phrase, love is not all you need.

Faith is a private thing, a personal thing. No one’s got any right to tell anyone else what to believe in.

No matter what your job is, no matter how much it sucks, do your best at it. Even if you’re just scrubbing dishes, if you’re getting paid do your best. You don’t do this for your employer, you do this for yourself.

Always take care of yourself, because I won’t be there to do it.

These are the lessons I hope to leave behind for my girls. I hope you might get something from them as well.

What do you want to leave behind?

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