This Is What I Hope They’ll Say When I’m No Longer Around

Do you ever catch yourself in a train of thought about what people will have to say about you or remember about you once you're gone? Are there certain characteristics that you strive to uphold or specific things that you try to do in hopes that when you're gone, people will remember? Sometimes in life we get so caught up in the things that ultimately won’t matter in the end. Our generations priorities have turned into who has the newest electronic device or who has the smallest waist or who has the best GPA rather than who was kind, who was humble, who put others before themselves. 

When I am long gone, I don’t want people to remember the materialistic things I had or the way I looked. I want them to remember me for me, whoever that is that I have made myself out to be. Here’s what I hope they'll say, and here's what you should hope they'll say about you, too. 

She put others before herself. 

She would give someone the shirt off her back if they needed it. She would spare herself that extra 6 piece chicken nugget if her friend was hungry. She would get up in the middle of the night, even after a long day, just to answer a phone call or come over when you needed her to. She thought about other peoples feelings before her own, which ended up being both a strength and weakness of hers.

She lived a life full of love and laughter. 

If this girl loved you, she loved you with every bone in her body. There wasn't anything she wouldn't do for you. She loved to the fullest extent and put it all on the table because she was willing to take risks for those she loved. You’ll never find someone who loved as hard and genuine as she did. She also laughed…a lot. She would laugh at the things that didn't seem that funny until she explained why she thought it was so funny. Sometimes she even laughed when the joke wasn't even good, just because she didn't want to make you feel bad. She was able to laugh at herself and that was probably one of her best qualities. 

She was honest. 

She was as honest as it gets. Sometimes even brutally honest. Not in a mean way, she was just someone who you knew would tell you truth no matter what the circumstance might be. She was the one who you hated going to for advice because you knew you wouldn't like what she would say. *cough, cough* because the truth hurts. But people also knew they could trust her. They knew she had their best interest in mind, and that whatever they came to her with, she wouldn't give some shallow response or cliche answer. She was genuine.

She was compassionate. 

Whether it be a dog in a homeless shelter, or an old woman she befriended in a nursing home, she had compassion. She didn't just feel bad for people, she felt with them. When those around her were hurting, she would hurt. Her heart hurt for those starving in other countries. Her heart hurt for those children in orphanages who have never been able to experience a mothers love. She was helpful, and would do all she could to bring even an ounce of joy into peoples lives. She didn't judge people for their faults, instead she reached out to them in LOVE and helped them realize that they are important and worthy of the best. She was someone who you could cry in front of and feel not the least bit embarrassed. She valued other peoples feelings more so than the average person.

She never gave up. 

She was forced to deal with many things that should have knocked her down for god, but she always managed to get back up stronger. When others hurt her and took advantage of her love, she used that as a learning experience and motivation to only become better. She didn't let cruel words or actions towards her define who she was. She was strong. She was an amazing wife, and fantastic mother. Even when times were tough, she did all she could to make sure her husband and her kids had the best life possible. She worked hard in her career and  never settled for less than what she felt she deserved. She learned from her mistakes and that made her even more wise throughout time.

She smiled. 

Even at rock bottom, she was able to smile. She had strong morals which kept her grounded and enough faith to move mountains. Even when the ones she cared for deeply weren't able to return the same amount of love, even when she had to walk away from those who she cared about most, and even when she lost friends who she had planned on attending her wedding, she SMILED. She knew that everything happened for a reason, and although that phrase wasn't an excuse for someone to continuously make poor decisions, she knew that God had a plan for her life far greater than the one she had set out for herself. 

So these are things we should want to strive to be remembered by. Not by what we wore on a daily basis or how well we were able to do our makeup (which for me, isn't very good at all...). We should want to be remembered by our attitudes when things weren't going the way we wanted them to, and by how we impacted others. We should want to be someone who is missed, and so we shall be.

I suggest that for 2017 we all work harder to keep the most important parts of a legacy at the top of our lists. You’ll become a better you because of it and will definitely become a happier you, as well. 

Stay true to yourselves, Collegiettes. Study hard and focus on what truly matters.