This Is My Temporary Home, It's Not Where I Belong, Windows & Rooms That I'm Passing Through, This Was Just Another Stop, On The Way To Where I'mGoing
Whenever I sit inside an abandoned church it's as if I'm staring at the face of God (which still amazingly looks much like the face of Kenny Rogers). It ain't merely the religious connotations associated with churches; it's the notion that buildings such as those once held a vibrant community of people within them. People used to flock together, prayed under the same room, made friendships with their fellow man there, used to witness their community's births and their eventual ends in churches like that once. When I sit down in the pews I can see myself spending my entire life within their walls in a way that I can't see it when I go to my own church. When I'm at my own place of worship, I'm just Breanne-no more, no less. I'm just little 'ole me because I can't see far enough ahead to place myself in the context of my time period. Every week is just like the week before, which is just like the week to come.
But when I'm there in the confines of some place whose time has already passed, I can go and see how temporary everything all is. I can view for myself how short my time is and how important it is for me to do my best to see my legacy isn't tarnished. I don't know if that just means making sure I'm considerate, kind, and mindful of my own vanity. I'm beginning to think that also means beginning to contemplate the fact of my own mortality. Soon, my body will be nothing but a shell of its former self. It'll be like the abandoned churches I so love to visit. It's not enough to know that it's coming. I have to keep it in mind that every day I spend here is precious and place value on that fact. I have to keep alive the mentality that every day I'm alive should be as solemn as a church service. I reckon I have to remember less of the facts of the matter and more of the details, those small nuances that make experiences one-of-a-kind.
Just like churches see the bad and the good, people coming together in joy and in frustration, so my life has had its share of triumphs and tragedies. Long after I'm gone, these are the memories that will people have of me. They won't talk about what a great beauty I was (at least not too much), or how graceful or charming I was. Hell's bells, they won't talk at length about what a great dancer I was. Nope, what people will remember most will be those times I connected with them in some intimate way. They'll talk about the way I held them in my arms when they came calling with bad news or they'll talk about how brightly my smile shone when the news was good. They'll talk about how I drove eighty some miles to come visit them when they were feeling ill. They'll talk about how often I laughed and tried to make others laugh. They'll talk about how sad I could get and how they were mad to suffer because of it. They'll talk about how quick to anger I was and how I took it on the absolutely wrong people time and time again. They'll talk about those times I embarrassed them, those times I took them down with me, those times I carried them, and the times I accidentally let them fall. These are the memories they'll have of me. These are the memories that will be my legacy and not how successful my business was, not how much money I made, or how I met my end.
I'm not afraid because I know
this was our temporary home
Nobody ever looks at the shape of a building after its served its purpose, much the same way no one will look at my decaying body to gauge what type of person I'll be. When somebody wants to gain a picture of what I was like, who I was, it'll have to be through the lens of the experiences I left behind me. When somebody wants to honor me, to honor my life it's going to be by remembering everything I tried to make of it.
My life is a temporary thing, but the effects it has on other people will be a lifelong gift. It'll be my legacy, it'll be the treasure I share with everyone I know.