Today I read two posts, from opposite sides of the world but about basically the same thing. Who are we and how will we be remembered, especially if it looks to us like we're living very ordinary lives. Chookyblue was recalling two funerals she had recently attended and was thinking on the long, deserted road she was driving, what sort of life she was living and how would her eulogy sound? Has she done anything memorable, remarkable, noteworthy? (Yes, you have!)
I thought as I read her post about how many times I've asked myself the same questions. Mine sound more like "What's it all about, Alfie?" What's the point? Who is going to remember or miss me and for how long? My name has been in the newspaper a few times other than to announce my birth and marriage, but not because I won the Nobel Prize for literature. So, who will remember me and why? I mean, what have I done??Then I opened Friend Laurie's page and saw this TED talk.
Wow, I thought. Three references to the same thought process on the same day. Drew Dudley explains that it's not the big, unattainable things that make it possible for us to be leaders. None of us will be on the world stage but we can celebrate the small stuff. We can BE the small stuff. It's the small things we do that touch people in ways we may never know if they don't tell us. Do you know the author Alexander McCall Smith? He wrote the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and dozens of offshoots. I heard him speak one day and when asked what he thought the appeal of his characters was to us, he said, "None of us is going to live lives of greatness. We all live our little lives being who we are. We go through our days getting through our days the best we can. That's what my characters are doing."
Drew Dudley asks if there was a person somewhere in our lives who did something that made our life better. And then he asked if we told them about that moment. We have, most of us, in our memory banks the name of such a person. I do. And I am happy to say I did tell her.
When I was pregnant for our son I was given a new, different prenatal vitamin by the doctor. I am VERY sensitive to any medications. They affect me greatly so I tend to let nature take it's course. But, being pregnant, the doctors want lots of vitamins in us. Well, every morning after taking the vitamin I fainted. There was also a toddler in the house, not yet two years old and well, it was inconvenient to faint every morning. So I called the doctor. Mine was off delivering a baby so the stand in told me to come into the office. There I sat in the examining room telling the nurse about the problem. She went out of the room, conferred with the doctor and came back in with more questions. I answered them. She went out to deliver my answers. I never saw the substitute doctor. A prescription was given.
I went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription and the pharmacist asked, "aren't you pregnant?" I said I was. But just. I was still wearing my jeans. She said, "I'm not going to fill this prescription. It's not safe for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester." I started to cry from relief and went home and called MY doctor and told him what happened. HE was angry that the pharmacist interfered. I said, "God bless her! At least SHE was paying attention!" (This is also a plug for going to the same pharmacist for your meds and not skipping around.)
About 12 years later that pharmacist walked into the bookstore I was working at. As I finished checking out her purchase I asked if she had a minute. "I want to tell you something you did that you probably don't even know you did." And I told her the story and ended it with, "that baby is now 12 years old and in the gifted program in school." I hugged her and she cried and thanked me for telling her.
You are the tree. Every leaf is someone you've touched in your life. Without you, the leaves wouldn't be.