“Once upon a time…,” isn’t that how all good stories begin?
That’s how ours began. Once upon a time. And this story started a long, long time ago. In fact, we’re really just a short chapter in a wonderful story. And the beauty of this story is we write it ourselves. Each day the things we do, the words we say, the choices we make, they become our story.
The story I’m working on contains all the key elements of a best-seller. There are interesting characters – quite a few. There’s plenty of drama. There is just the right amount of humor. There’s conflict – lots of conflict – and resolution. There are a few antagonists, and an occasional hero or two. There are moments where you’ll wish you had a tissue to wipe away a tear. There is suspense, mystery, and excellent character development. I can’t take all the credit for our part of the story. I have a fabulous co-author. And the characters never leave us wanting for interesting subject matter.
But the most exciting part of our chapter of this age-old story is that we have no idea how it will end. We add to it day by day, a little here and a little there, but we don’t know where the story is headed.
This story we’re writing is our legacy. It is what we will leave for our children to ponder after we’re gone. Each day of our lives we add to that legacy. We develop our own character as we learn from the legacy left to us by others. My grandmothers left legacies of compassion, order, fastidiousness, and respect. From my mother I inherit a legacy of service and caring for others. These traits help to shape who I am and determine in large part what I pass on to my children.
Let me share with you part of the story we’re writing.
Our story is one of faith; faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, His teachings and example.
It is a story of service, of small acts of kindness performed for those in need, and giving of ourselves to our church, our schools, and our community.
It is a story of work, of discovering that after we stop grumbling, learning to work is a privilege and a blessing.
It is a story of learning, of reading together, discovering new things, and realizing that education and knowledge are life-long pursuits.
It is a story of self-worth. It is helping our children know that win or lose, their biggest fan is their mom, and I will always be there cheering them on.
But above all, it is a story of love; a love that spans generations, that is passed on from mother to child.
From the musical “Baby” this song expresses it best.
“All these things I feel and more my mother’s mother felt and hers before A chain of life begun upon the shore of some dark sea Has stretched through time and reached to me And now I can see the chain extending My child is next in a line that has no ending And here am I feeling life that her child will feel when I’m long gone And thus it is our story goes on, and on, and on.
How grateful I am to be writing a chapter in such an incredible story. May the legacy I leave our children be our story of faith, service, work, learning, self-worth, and love. And may they all live “happily ever after. The End.”