Every day I read a blog written by Leroy Sievers on NPR website. Mr. Sievers has cancer and writes about what he is going through. Today he had the question, "How do you want to be remembered?"
My first reaction was that I don't have control over how people will remember me when I've "gone the way of all the earth". I don't seem to have too many ideas about how people will remember me. My world is pretty small so I don't imagine too many people will be thinking about me besides my family and a few friends. I have quite a few acquaintances but not a lot of close friends. I've always kind of felt like I was on the outside looking in, watching people and wondering about why they were doing certain things. I guess I'm more of a sociologist than a friend. Then again, every once in a while someone will say something that gives me a bit of an eyebrow raise when I hear that they consider me a friend. I get along with all kinds of people, but I'd rather hear their stories than tell my own most of the time. I admit I don't work at friendships. My illness, my family schedule, and I guess my innate characteristics, play into my aloneness.
I guess the question is about what I want rather than what I think others might feel. So, how do I want to be remembered? I'd like to be remembered as someone who was thoughtful, kind, understanding, and funny. How would you like to be remembered?
I'm not sure anyone can truly understand me by going through journals, files, or this blog. What kind of picture do we have of a person's life when they die? Does that picture change over time? Why do we have different pictures for different people when our purpose is the same? Why can't some people get a picture out of their mind? How accurate are our memories of people, I mean, would our memory be anything close to how that person saw him or herself?
"Who am I? They tell me I bore
the days of misfortune equably,
smilingly, proudly, like one
Am I then really that which
other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself
know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick,
like a bird in a cage."