I keep writing and thinking a lot about legacy. Sometimes I feel like I’m preaching it – mostly to other dragon boaters/friends, or in clinics and team building things. They are quite powerful, largely because of the energy we all bring to the experience. The synthesized energy is apart of the intrigue of dragon boating, also.
Sharing our legacy helps communicate where we’re coming from in relationships with other people. We all look at the world from different eyes. When we seek to see what others view from their own perspective and life experiences we listen and respond better to one another.
I’ve wondered why I feel like I’m in such a hurry to impart this concept to others until I realized your legacy sometimes changes in correlation with life occurrences. While I’ve worked hard and enjoyed watching my clientele grow as does Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, adding new races on the 2012 calendar, it’s been a tough year personally. Actually, the past four years have been marred with loss, starting with the death my friend of 14 years, Karen, who had Stage IV breast cancer. After a wrenching two-year medical battle and then her death, and when I felt like sufficient time had passed and I wasn’t as heartbroken, we lost my husband’s Aunt Karen whom we loved dearly just before 2011. She had suddenly fell ill on Thanksgiving Day, with a high heart rate. She died a week after we returned home from the holiday trip. It developed and happened so quickly, we hadn’t really coped with it when a little more than two months later, we lost again. On the anniversary of our friend Karen’s death, I had a very nice time catching up with our mutual friend, Scott, from college. I loved him like a brother; he couldn’t believe how many people he knew our age were dying too young of various causes. He died in a car wreck four days later. He was the type to take care of people. Everyone he cared about, as a matter of fact. Both Karens were opinionated, but difference makers. I called my friend Karen “Bossy Rossy,” and that trait cut short a promising teaching career. Aunt Karen, we learned from her obituary, pioneered research that led to a growth tissue for burn victims at Akron Children’s Hospital. When she was alive, we didn’t know the extent of the impact she had on people. We knew she was making a difference, but we didn’t know how far-reaching and lasting until she was gone. She often wanted to know more about us, or have a pleasant discussion, which left its own legacy.
We make choices every day, and those ultimate decisions or actions lead to our legacies. Sometimes that may not entail making life-changing advances. Our legacy includes the way we make others feel about themselves, how we work together. I’ve lost three very close people in my life the last four years, with other deaths and loss in between as well. I obviously hope this fate changes very soon. I focus on my life, the people in it, and my work. It’s not only about dragon boat racing and the spiritual passion it evokes in almost everyone. It’s also the inherent community surrounding raising money for charity, making a difference; for me, it’s very fulfilling to show people they can make a difference – it gives me hope. Little by little our combined legacies will gain momentum, so much that we’ll never know the true impact.