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Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Legacy Will You Leave?

Here lately I've been thinking about what kind of legacy I want to leave, my family and the world. As you know I just turned 39 years old and as I get older I do think of my own mortality, now I'm not thinking I'm going to die tomorrow nor am I wishing for death but I'm not stupid enough to think I'm not going to die. I've gone to the memorials of some older passing family members of my own and Matt's and have started to think about my legacy.

Today I went up to Lynnwood, a little suburb city of Seattle to honor Matt's uncle, Malvin Axel Magnusson, he just passed about two weeks ago and his Elks Club where he had been a member for 50 years was honoring him. Do people of this generation make that kind of commitment to service anymore? Wow, I was in awe he was certainly a beloved man by family and friends and they came out to honor him, swap stories, look at photos of their friend. Now if you don't know what the Elks is it's a fraternal order, I don't think many young men join things like that today, young people have an image to uphold. They serve their community and try to uphold causes of justice. Matt's uncle was 79 years old and died while doing something for his club, making them some wood shelving. He is Matt's dad's oldest brother and although Matt's dad's was adopted as a baby by some neighbors he found this side of his family in his 20s and reunited with them. So I could have been a Magnusson instead of a Berg. His uncle's life was spent in military service in the Navy, the stories I heard were of a kind neighbor, loving husband, great father and grandfather, wonderful brother, and good friend. You know we see a lot of things on the television about famous people and emulating that fame but really it's people like Matt's uncle that should be emulated, the quiet and unassuming among us who do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do. I was awed and humbled by the love I saw and felt in that room, as his son gave his father's eulogy I saw grown men who probably don't cry often in their lives break down in full out tears. It's so nice to see the love and legacy that his Uncle Mal left. I only got to meet him once but he was certainly memorable and I was glad I got the chance to meet him.

As I sat there and weeped along with them as I felt the outpouring of love, sadness, and celebration I thought this is the kind of legacy I want to leave. The kind, where, when I leave this earth I'll be missed.


  1. He sounds like a lovely man.

    I am sure that you'll have a similar celebration of your life when the time comes.

  2. You could feel the love in the room, it was great. Deidre, I'm certainly trying to do that with my life.

  3. touching.....yes, i've been thinking about that lately too and don't know why. i think that everyone is feeling their mortality these days


  4. Vonnie I think feeling my mortality makes me even more aware of the work I have to do while I'm here, the service I need to render. I've been blessed with so much and not just monetarily and I don't want to keep those things to myself, they are meant to be shared.