About 5 years ago, I was reported as dead.
Really, it was just a typo in my church newsletter. My mom made donations of lilies in honor of my brother, his family, and me during the Easter season. The newsletter accidentally listed my name under the “in memory” section instead of the “in honor” section.
Of course, I wasn’t mad or anything. Things like this do happen occasionally (luckily, not for CPD – Joanna is VERY careful about it). You laugh and move on. My family and I all just thought that it was hilarious and of course I spent a lot of time telling the story at work and getting to use Mark Twain’s famous line “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, etc.
Now, I go to a big church, Highland Park United Methodist (the largest United Methodist Church in the country, I think), and at that time they only sent a snail mail newsletter to members, so thousands and thousands of people received the notice that I was dead. And aside from two old friends from high school calling my mom to ask her when I passed, no one much noticed.
What’s up with that, people? I grew up here. People know me. Two people called?
Life truly does go on, doesn’t it?
Make the most of your days here on earth. Of course, I suggest that you do that by giving back to your community (We are here for you at Community Partners of Dallas!). Because someday, no matter how famous or popular you are now, you will probably be forgotten. I just got hit in the face with it a little early.
And remembering this quote by the great Martin Luther King helps to keep me on track:
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’
Make your days here count, because even one small gift can change a life for the better. Someone you will never meet will benefit from your volunteer service teaching ESL, your donation of funds to provide a winter coat or food, your instruction to your own child about bullying others – the list goes on and on and on.
That’s your legacy. It will not be forgotten.