Alison Garwood Jones

What will your legacy be?

November 8, 2010

*9:00 am: This post is dedicated to my friend, Monica Scrivener. She died on Saturday. I found out ten minutes ago on Facebook. In high school, Mon and I used to sit beside each other in art class and make smartass comments. I’m heartbroken.

When I’m dead and all physical reminders of the life I built have disappeared under the pile-up of stuff from future generations, I’ll live on, for a while, in the minds of my family, friends and ex-boyfriends. But they’ll die too and take their memories of my voice, my bent and signature scent with them. The biggest cache of information will go down with my parents and my brothers. Then where will I be?

I suppose my name will linger on for a little while longer inside my high school, on the gym walls that show I played for this team and won that award. And, of course, I’ll live on in cyberspace, endorsing a lip balm (good grief), interviewing an expert, cheering on a friend and calling out to my lost mother.

My blog will just stop. But it will never suffer the fate of print, curling at the edges or turning yellow with age. Like a fresh sheet of paper, it will be as crisp and clean as the day I launched it.

At first, people will think I’m too busy to post and my page views will drop to zero. The odd person might check back in to see if I’ve cobbled together a new entry. And if they’re really committed to this site (or me), they’ll do a Google search of my name, stumble upon my obit and go … “Oh.”

Elsewhere in cyberspace, my face and name will pop up in the “People You May Know” columns in LinkedIn and Facebook. Requests will go out, but my silence will hurt my future job and social prospects. Meanwhile, the lineup of guys in my eHarmony account will be several miles long and administrators will shut down my page for “lack of activity.” The question, “Who does she think she is?” will shoot through at least one male heart because I didn’t even try to strike up a conversation with him.

But, half a moment!  I still have some more time to make hay in my personal and professional lives. So, IF I’m lucky enough to reach old lady status, here’s what I hope my legacy will be after I collapse in a heap for the last time.

… agj …

She lived an unconventional life for someone with some pretty traditional values.

She was afraid of dying which made her unafraid of living.

She hated interruptions when she was in The Zone.

Loud noises irked her too.

She had the courage to say “No” to marriage until, one day, she had the courage to say “Yes.”

But, even then, she still lived through herself.

She let her hair show its first lashings of grey and opened to the idea of becoming a Silver Belle

Keeping in mind, Nature always prevailed.

At 80, she was at her most liberal (and, no, it wasn’t too late)

She spent the money she saved on dye jobs and bought books, presents, fresh flowers, and paid her property taxes.

She found plenty of ways to mother young people without ever seeing her feet disappear behind her belly.

She cried when her friends described their losses and left behind Kleenex balls for them to pick up.

She lived a highly engaged life and negotiated the “me time” it took to achieve that with mixed results.

She negotiated her “us time” with equally mixed results.

She was a sponge for love, and she’ll miss you.

A lot.

This post is part of a blog series on being sponsored by Entrustet. Ryan Paugh sent out emails to Brazen members asking us to answer the question, What do you want your legacy to be?


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