Father's Day; Legacy Lifetime
We all hope to live happily and healthy into our golden years. However, we don't always know when our time is up. This is why I love the Memento Mori coin, which effectively translates to "remember you will die." This is not to say we must live in fear, but that we must each day to the full because we never know if it will be the last.
A tragedy happened this year that made this lesson all too real. An old friend (and one of my brother's best friends) had a heart attack and died at age 42. He was a family man, leaving behind his wife and 4-year old son. At age 38 and with a wife and a 5-year old daughter, I couldn't help but project myself into his shoes. What would life be like for my loved ones if I allowed stress to consume me and cut my life short? At a minimum, I would want to ensure they were taken care of financially, but that's just table stakes. In fact, if you are a parent and haven't already worked with an estate planner to get a will in place, I encourage you to make that a #1 priority.
But there are other factors to consider that many overlook. What about the memories and experiences that you've had together? Wouldn't you want to leave any notes and diary entries to them? What about all the pictures you may have on your phones. If you don't leave your family with backup passwords and access to these things, they may be locked out of them forever!
I've personally tried to journal once a month about my daughter and her growth. I hope that I get to share and tell her about these things in person as she grows up and we get to experience our lives together. However, I wanted never to take that opportunity for granted. My grandfather was a loved and respected man in his community, but since he died at age 7, all that I remember about him are 3-5 faint memories. Everything else is memories others have told me. What I wouldn't give to hear from him through a letter or to have seen what he saw through photos.
This father's day, sure... make new memories and celebrate your family. Take some rest and enjoy being the center of attention. But also make sure that, if you were to leave tomorrow, you've left your loved ones with all the necessary keys, passwords, and legal documents to ensure your legacy carries beyond this lifetime.
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About Rick Manelius
Quick Stats: CTO of Contact Mapping. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.