What Epitaph Defines You?
What will your epitaph be?
My friend died yesterday, on the last day of the Year of the Sheep. Ted Rogers was 6’8” and a tower of inspiration and uniqueness. Having lunch with Ted was an adventure. His “thing” as a speaker was to get us all to eat healthier.
So, here’s how lunch would go: Those of us with Ted would dutifully pore over the menu looking for something that sounded palatable or good. Not Ted. He didn’t look at menus. The waitress would come to our table and he would say, “Do me a favor…” Those were Ted’s favorite words. “Do me a favor. I would love to have a piece of fish grilled, not fried; with a side of brown rice and a salad made of greens, not iceberg lettuce. Can you do that for me?” He would flash the waitress a charming smile and she would usually do as he asked.
Ted was so tall he looked like he was standing when he sat in a booth. His good looks and charm swayed even the toughest waitress. If she didn’t have what he wanted, he would patiently explain what his goal was and ask for her help in achieving that. And it worked! Great lessons for all of us to step outside the norm and think beyond what the menu said was available.
As I thought about him today, I realized his trademark sentence should be his epitaph, “Do me a favor…” As in, “Lord, do me a favor. Watch over my loved ones while I come hang out with you…” or for those left behind, “Do me a favor… don’t waste too many precious moments mourning me. Live your life and do the things I might do if I had more time.”
This train of thought led to thinking about the others I know and love. My sweetheart’s favorite line is, “That’s it!” I told him I would put that on his tombstone if I outlive him. Anyone who knows him would smile fondly when they read that epitaph. I think mine would probably be, “It could have been worse…” Apparently I say that so often that my little Chaude wrote a book about it when she was in the 3rd grade. The adventures included me getting lost in a desert and being pursued by a dragon. “But, Aunty Beth said, ‘Well, it coulda been worse!'”
What would your epitaph be? What do you say all the time? How will your friends and loved ones remember you? If you don’t like the phrase you are known for saying all the time, come up with a new one! Think about it; write it down, then live into it… Write to me and let me know! I’d love to hear your stories.
Ted inspired everyone who knew him. I wish for you the same: that when you pass on, people will remember you fondly and tell their funny and heartfelt stories about you and how you impacted them.
Take care of yourself, we need you!
© 2016 Beth Terry • All Rights Reserved