What we leave behind . . .
Each morning after I drop my boys off at school I go to my parents’ home for coffee. On my way there I drive past my childhood home.
My mind often wonders back to those carefree days of just being a kid. I can vividly remember several things in and around that house that more than likely still carry the scars or marks of when we lived there.
Each time I glance at that house my mind quickly recalls sleepovers and birthday parties, family dinners and lessons learned. Sometimes I long to just walk back through those doors. In my mind’s eye everything would be just the same.
My bedroom would be straight up the stairs to the right, our old couch would still be there perfectly worn and totally comforting, and mom’s iron skillets would be hanging from the walls of the kitchen.
I wonder if the kitchen floor has been replaced or if it still shows the burnt spot where the clothing iron got knocked off the ironing board.
When we were building that house I was just a young girl and playing school was my favorite thing to do. Since I had no real chalkboard at the time I used any piece of old wood I could find.
Apparently one day I grabbed a good piece instead and began writing my lesson for the day in red crayon. My dad had to use that board along the ceiling of his and mom’s room. Instead of trying to hide my marks he chose to place a small frame around them.
I have wondered countless times since moving away from there if my lesson plans for my classroom of misfit dolls is still visible.
I buried my favorite dog beneath a huge beech tree down in the woods behind that old house and carved her name and date of death right there into its bark. I hung her bright orange collar from the lowest limb.
Many times I have wondered if the current owners ever discovered her resting place. It was just a small part of me, part of my life that I left behind on that property. I think we all leave a little of ourselves behind when we pass from one chapter of life into another.
Once I married and became a mother the importance of what I was leaving behind really came to the forefront. Each chapter of life gives us new opportunites and once you realize there are other people looking to you, depending on you it should cause you to pause and think twice about each decision.
Everyone will make mistakes, but it is how we deal with those mistakes and what we learn from them that often define what type of person we are and in the end write our legacy.
Many times my boys have asked me about my youth and whether or not I had done certain things or gotten into trouble.
My husband and I decided from the beginning that when our children asked questions we would stand by the fact that honesty is the best policy. No matter how uncomfortable the question we would tell them the truth as it happened.
Both of us carry our own fair share of scars and bad decisions, but we feel that by sharing those with our children we can be a witness as to what not to do.
When the good Lord calls me home I want to be at peace knowing that even though I may have had my own share of trials and tribulations that my family, my boys, will be able to remember me because I loved them and not because they must carry the burdens of the life I lived.
It angers me to see parents who have no remorse or choose to carry no responsiblity for the mistakes they made growing up. Instead they seem to be content to allow their children to walk in the same footsteps.
The good Lord gives us a memory for a reason. He allows us to experience life on our own terms even though at times those terms leave scars, both physical and emotional.
Much like the walls and floors of my old home with its imperfections caused by our years of living there. Dropping that iron on the kitchen floor produced an ugly, melted spot but it taught us to not leave the hot iron balancing on an unstable board.
What we leave behind is just as important as what may come before us.