You never know what kind of an impact you really have on those around you until you leave this world. It is then that all those whose lives you touched step up and show what you meant to them. Oh they show it in many ways while you are here too, but the people who love you seldom know about all the others whose lives you touched, until you are gone. It is strange to think that you can go all of your life and not know just how many lives your parents impacted, until they are gone. Since my mother’s passing, the outpouring of condolences, food, flowers, Facebook messages, and love from so many sources, has been overwhelming. So many people whose lives crossed paths with hers, and they came away thinking just how sweet she was. She had so many friends that we didn’t even realize were her friends. I always thought of my mom as a bit of a homebody, but she was quietly building her legacy…a legacy of love.
We have been so surprised by the people who have told us how she impacted their lives. Mom was an idealist. She held herself to high moral and social standards, and encouraged others to do the same. We have heard from people who were saved much heartache because of her words of wisdom, and her guidance when they were heading the wrong direction. Her sweet, smiling ways endeared her to so many people from so many different walks of life. Her faith and joy caused her to find great favor with the members of our church. Her neighborliness through the years made endeared her to the whole neighborhood. And of course, there was the love she had for her family and extended family. So many lives, affected in so many ways over the years…all by my mom. She was quietly building a legacy of love, when we weren’t looking.
We have been so amazed by the outpouring of love we have received since Mom’s passing. The stories of how she affected each one, and how their lives were blessed because they knew her, have blessed us so much. It is amazing just how much love multiplies. Mom’s legacy of love has grown and become such a beautiful thing. Over the years, her little idiosyncrasies that might have even been a source of embarrassment for us growing up, I can see now, as just a show of love and kindness that was unique to Mom. It makes me so very proud of her, and it makes me hope that someday, I will leave a legacy of love that is remotely like hers. I know that it would be impossible to ever come close to matching hers, but if I could be half the woman my mother was, I will consider myself very blessed indeed.