St. Therese of Lisieux used to say that she wanted to spend her heaven doing good on earth. I think that perhaps her and Anne Frank have both accomplished this. I never tire of reading quotes from Anne, and each time I read or re-read them I have to take pause. I can’t even begin to imagine the inner workings of her mind. She was only fifteen when she died and her insights and ideas were above those of most grown adults.
This quote of hers is one of my favorites because it says something that really speaks to me. Something that I really want to do. Maybe that’s prideful…I don’t know. I don’t mean it to be. But when I die, I want to have made an impact somehow. A quiet one. A good one.
I wonder sometimes if everyone wants that. Perhaps there’s nothing unique about this wish at all. I’m far from perfect. I’ve made so many mistakes in life. Some huge…some not so much. I have lots of faults…I am overly sensitive and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t always address things that bother me and instead tend to let them simmer inside. I would rather sit at the piano than do my housework and I am slow to look at things that are my fault and own up to them. When I finally do I allow myself to feel guilt-ridden about them which accomplishes zero. I can hold grudges. And to top all of that off…I am very bull-headed and can be annoying at times. I’m human. Very, very human!
But I don’t want to be remembered because of something I’ve done – I want to be remembered because of something I have to say that would somehow make an impact on somebody and that they’ll be able to draw strength from it and carry it through life. Most of us probably have somebody that has done that for us. I know I do. I just want that to be my legacy…that something I said meant something important to someone. I suppose that sounds arrogant and I don’t mean it to. I know it’s a really tall order. And to be really honest, I don’t know what it is I would say! But…that’s my wish before I die.
Unexpected things happen. We plan on living long lives but the world has a way of changing those plans sometimes. The best we can do is to live life the way we want to be remembered. And pray it makes a difference to others.
“Our lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make our choices. Then our choices make us.”
― Anne Frank