How will you be remembered?

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance.  Not just remembering the person but remembering their legacy, their gifts to the world, their community, their family.  We tell stories.  We look at pictures.  We are touched again by these people who have gone before us.

There are moments in time,  like Memorial Day, my 40th birthday, a visit to ground zero in NYC that give me pause.  I get off the merry-go-round long enough to wonder if I am making the right choices and how I will be remembered.

The 9-11 tragedy and the images that now surround ground zero should give us all pause.  The people who died that day started off their morning thinking it was just another day.  Just like we do, every day.

I found myself wondering what they would have done or said differently.  All the things that at the moment mattered — really didn't.

What if it had been you?

  • Would you have shouted at the driver who cut you off?
  • Would you be at the office and miss saying good night to your son or daughter?
  • Would you worry about those five extra pounds?
  • Would you panic at this quarter's sales numbers?
  • Would you cling to that grudge?
  • Would you worry about your blog's ranking?

Who would you think about? What would you do?  What would you say?  Why don't you say it today?

Here's my question for myself this Memorial Day.  And for you. 

How do you want your life to be measured?  What if today was the day?


06groundzero_2

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
Measure a year?

02groundzero_2

In daylights – in sunsets
In midnights – in cups of coffee
In inches – in miles
In laughter – in strife

01groundzero_2

In – five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

08groundzero

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Seasons of love
Seasons of love

11groundzero

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan

10groundzero_2

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

03groundzero

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

07groundzero

It's time now – to sing out
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year
In the life of friends

13groundzero_2

Remember the love
Remember the love
Remember the love
Measure in love

04groundzero

Measure
Measure your life in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Note:  I took all of these photos on Memorial Day '07.  The 5th, 6th & 8th photos are of pictures that hang in the memorial area. (So they are my photos of someone else's photos) The rest are of artifacts in the area.  One of the most striking realizations as you walk around the site is the deep hunger people have to leave notes or messages.  They've written on signage, walls and anywhere they think their voice might be able to linger. 

It's not graffiti, it's grief.

The photos are mine, the lyrics belong to Jonathan Larson from the musical RENT.

 

 

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

6 comments on “How will you be remembered?

  1. I used to read posts like these and be struck with guilt at not having fulfilled my potential. Then I’d rationalize my life to make myself feel better.
    I can finally read this and know that I have made a sincere and significant effort to have a positive impact on the world. It feels really good.
    People wonder at my willingness to work 24/7 with no paycheck and give beyond what I can afford. But I look at the photos of what we are doing and know that none of this would be happening if I hadn’t pushed myself to the limits of energy and resources. Me. I made this happen–with a lot of wonderful people helping. What greater reward can there be?

  2. wonderful thoughts, especially today. gives us all pause

  3. Beautiful, and touching thank you for letting us take pause to measure those things around us that are truly important.

    You ask how we would want our life to be measured & what if today were the day; you are asking for serious contemplation for sure.

    I want my life measured by the character of being: not what my wealth or career was (or was not). I want to be remembered for the good I did daily; whether it was opening a door for a stranger with their hands full, or picking up something that dropped and the owner didn’t know it. I want to be remembered for the truth’s I told when they were neither easy to say or for the other person to hear.
    As for the other question, what if today were the day – if it were, those that I love would know it and never have a question in their mind. They would know in my last ounce of being, I prayed for them.

  4. Chris Brown says:

    Wow. Drew, these are very moving and powerful photos and thoughts. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. Jeane,

    It sounds like you have found the work that you truly love and I congratulate you on that.

    I’m guessing most people had to find their own way to deal with and accept the 9/11 tragedy and what it meant to their own lives. I’m hopeful that it inspired many people to do as you have done.

    Drew

  6. PC (Pocket Change),

    Thank you for taking the time to really consider the questions. I think you voice how many people feel — that they are truly trying to change their small spot in the world…by sharing their hearts, time and talents.

    Continued success is living that passion every day.

    Drew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *