Thursday, November 18, 2010

OBITUARY

1. a notice of the death of a person, often with a biographical sketch, as in a newspaper.
 
As I cleaned my bathroom today, it occurred to me that my obituary will not read, "She kept a meticulous home."  It made me smile, which was good because cleaning doesn't generally bring a smile to my face.  I am blessed to be married to a man who has a pretty high threshold for household clutter and general messiness.  He is by no means a neat freak.  Which suits me just fine since I can almost always find something I would rather do than clean.

So while my obituary won't make reference to the floors of my home and how they sparkled or the windows and how they shined, I hope friends will remember a house that felt like a home, even when they first came here.  I hope they'll remember thinking, "You can tell a family lives here."

My children won't sit around at Christmas in the years after I'm gone and miss my dust-free bookshelves, but I hope they'll remember the books we read together.  I hope K will still love setting the table - laying out the place mats and napkins, asking if it's a "special night" and we can light candles.  I hope B will make her own tomato tart - hopefully changed up a bit from my version, to make it all her own.  I hope A will slice into a loaf of bread she's baked and remember this week - her very first bread making experience, courtesy of a kind friend.

My obituary won't reference my fabulous gardening skills, how my children were always spotlessly dressed in freshly starched dresses or how effortlessly put together I always looked.  But maybe my children will remember raking leaves as a team - not only in our yard, but all the way down our street as an offering to neighbors.  Maybe B will always remember wearing my high heeled sandals to church while I was out of town and maybe K will recall asking her dad if she could go to church with a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads adorning her (the answer to that was no).  Maybe A will smile as she puts on her button down shirt and khakis and think about how her mom was most at home in skirts and boots.

I'm only 37 (and that for only a few more weeks), so I have no idea how I will be remembered.  But I know some of the ways I don't want to be remembered:
  • For the food I cooked instead of who I cooked it for
  • As someone whose floors mattered more than those who walked on them
  • For choosing work over play
  • As someone a woman whose entire identity was wrapped up in her children
  • As one whose faith was evident only on Sundays
  • As a mom who was more worried about what my children wore on their bodies than what went on in their hearts
  • As a wife who chose my children over my husband
  • As a friend who never let her guard down
  • As someone who was scared to embrace life
  • As a keeper of a meticulous house - there are far more important things

5 comments:

EJN said...

Your post made my heart smile. Thank you. You've inspired me to journal my want to be remembered "obituary". That's what good writers do - inspire, I mean, Thank you again Word Girl!

Janine said...

Awesome post! Yes and amen to all the above!! I have been thinking along the same lines this week. It was so delightful to read it in your words. I am so enjoying your blog. Have a happy weekend full of play times and precious new memories.

Kim said...

Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Great writing! But hope we don't have to worry about your obit for at least another 50 years!

Lauren said...

I love this list of things! I aspire to alot of the same things on my list. You just put it into words So well! Hope your retreat was just what you needed!