To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Significant changes and transitions in life often seem to yield reflection as a side-effect.  That reflection may include recollection of joyous memories, notable events, relationships formed, and growth evidenced.  As I’ve begun to sort and pack my belongings, I can’t help but think about what my time here has meant to me – and to others.

These years have held their share of difficulty and struggle.  I trust that it is for the good, even if I can’t quite see what that good actually is at this point.  It is difficult for me to leave here wondering what it is that I have accomplished in this time, how I have left my corner of the world a bit better than when I found it.

This was a topic of conversation with a dear friend over the weekend.  We enjoyed a lovely evening together – and lamented the fact that I will soon be leaving.  I will miss this dear girl and I am so very thankful for the friend she has been (and will continue to be) to me.  It meant so very much for me to hear from her that, if nothing else, I should consider my time here impactful because of the relationship I had with her.  As I’ve had time to mull over this thought, it has brought me much comfort to know that one life breathed easier.  Until that moment, I really wondered what legacy I will leave behind – if any, at all.

I don’t say these things selfishly or in attempts to gain praise.  I believe that we all want to matter to somebody somewhere.  We desire to know and to be known, to love and to be loved.  And Christy has helped me see that perhaps my greatest legacy will not be marked with a plaque or be recognizable to many.  Instead, I count the precious relationships formed here to be the greatest gift, the greatest blessing.  I have found beloved friends who love me and support me in incredible ways.  I met my husband-to-be.  My life has been enriched by the company I have shared.  And I am so grateful for it.


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