What’s mine? My legacy as a parent? My legacy as a husband? My legacy as the single greatest employee in the history of the company I work for?
My legacy as a parent with mental illness? My legacy as a spouse with mental illness?
It’s something I’ve thought about the last few days as I’m contemplating my own motivations for struggling through all of this. None of it’s easy, but it’s worth it; the question just becomes Why? Darius Rucker, in possibly the greatest debut country album ever, asked “What will I leave that will go on forever?” In true Will fashion, let’s make a list.
- A love for life that no one who knows me doubts.
- A love for learning and intellectual curiosity.
- A desire to provide for my family and take care of them temporally and spiritually.
- A tendency to be playful – perhaps to a fault.
- A love of my family that drives every single action I take.
- An undeniable love of St Louis Cardinals baseball.
- An even bigger undeniable love for my darling wife.
- Here’s my hopeful one: A maker of the worlds finest lemonade, after being dealt some lemons with a bipolar diagnosis.
- Are there more? You tell me.
Darius Rucker continues that song with these lines: “What will I do while I’m here, to make someone’s life better? If I had wings, I’d fly up to heaven. I’d look down from the clouds on everything, and then I could find all the things we’d been missing. I would have all the answers, if I had wings.”
While I don’t have wings, I do have a relationship with a Higher Power. It’s a close personal one, and I readily acknowledge that I need His help to be here for awhile to be able to leave a legacy.
I want my kids to be able to tell their children’s children that John William Walter IV was a happy thoughtful caring man, who loved his life and everyone in it. Will I be able to leav a monetary legacy to my kids? Maybe. I’d prefer to leave them one that makes a difference in who they are as people.