Saturday, September 26, 2009

I, was here...

" (insert your name ) " was here.

A phrase that can be found on random rocks along side the highway, on the side of railroad cars and most famously on the back of every mall bathroom stall across this great country of ours (probably in bathrooms around the world). Some "hilarious" adolescent, rebellious teenager or drunk adult wanted to be remembered. They wanted everyone to know at some point in history "they" were there, which in the case of the washroom doors baffles me. Seriously dude, you want to take credit for that smell? Go right ahead, me? I'll blame it on you too.

The actual act of writing your name on the above mentioned items is silly to me, pointless. Somebody else will be there too and they will wash it off, paint over and demolish your name and poof there goes your legacy. You and your Jiffy marker have been erased. Nice. (This by the way is to be read in a voice dripping with sarcasm.)

But the concept, leaving your mark on something, now that's an idea I get. In fact, it's something that intrigues me. In an article I found through Google it says that since the time of record keeping 106,456,367,669 (that's 106 billion, 456 million, 367 thousand, 669) people have been born on this planet. Take in to account there are currently 6,786,751,980 (6 billion 786 million 751 thousand 980) people inhabiting the earth according to the world clock right now and that's a lot of people who have died before us. And remember there are people being born and dying every second.

How many of those who died do you know? How many do you remember? 10? 100? 200 maybe? And of those you remember how many of them meant something to you? How many left an impact on you, your life?

Crazy isn't it? Sad even.

I'm not talking about the kind of remembering that comes from fame and celebrity. While it has it's place in this world, the people who grace our television screens are only mere people, doing a job. They are no better than you and I, and if you're honest with yourself, they've made no true impact on your life.

I'm talking about the people who grace our lives. Whether for a day, a week, a month or 30 years, the people who help mold you into you. Because lets face it, if none of those people ever crossed your path, your life wouldn't what it is today, good or bad it would be completely different.

If we are lucky (which I was) we have parents who do their best to leave their mark by raising us to be the people we are called be, to have manners, work hard and to walk the path God's called us to. We have teachers who's lessons extended far beyond the curriculum to those corners of our being we didn't know needed reaching - I had one teacher back in Grade One who lit my passion for reading on FIRE! It's thanks to Miss. Verbeck (Mrs. Allen now) that I love books more than television, more than Post It even. We also have teachers who's inappropriate behaviour challenges us to be something they aren't, do something they said we couldn't - I sat in a guidance counsellors office, after going to her because I couldn't understand why I struggled so hard with a class in grade 12 that I had breezed through in grade 11, even with a tutor and extra studying and she told be that, she and my teacher had discussed it, and that I had a poor short term memory and just couldn't handle the class, I stood my meek self up, looked her in the eye and said, "I. Will remember you" and walked out. I proved them wrong by getting a score on my provincial that was 2 grades higher than my year mark, and to this day I remember her. I proved her wrong.

We also have friends who bring out the best in us. People who know our yesterdays because they were there and have a pretty good idea on our tomorrows because, well, they've been there, they know us in a way we may not even know ourselves. Then there are our husbands, the men who love us like we're Cindy Crawford even when we feel more like Ugly Betty, who go get ice cream sandwiches at 10 at night just because we mentioned them, who hold us close when we cry and wrestle with us to make us laugh. They are the men we always wanted but never dreamed existed, and they are the father's our daughter's deserve.

And then, if you're really lucky you have children. Those tiny little piles of sweetness you wanted and imagined. The ones you pretended to have when you were only a mere child yourself. Those tiny little bundles of spit, poop, tempers and tears, laughter, hugs, kisses and cheers (because it rhymed, I like rhymes). And so the cycle turns and begins again.

Sort of.

I discovered something when I had my kids. Something I wasn't expecting and was not in the ridiculously useless "What to expect when You're expecting" book.

I always thought that it would be me, leaving my mark on them. I never once imagined that the biggest mark leaving would be done by them on me. Bethany and Audrey have taught me lessons in love and patience my mother never could, try as she may I was still the daughter and she the mom. I'm not only on the flip side as their Momma, I'm also their teacher, and their thirst for knowledge has once again fueled mine. Bethany's questions make me think, make me yearn for answers I didn't know I wanted. Audrey's attempts at Hi, and to crawl, make me spend hours on the floor, on my belly demonstrating how to "get up and do it!" all the while saying over and over, "Say Mama, say Mama..."

The two of them together have made me stop and take a look at the marker in my hand. What do I want to say? When I stand before my Father what do I want Him to say? What do I want "them" say about me when I'm gone?

I want my girls to say, "We were her breath of life and we knew it every single day", I want my parents to say, "She admired us, looked up to us and clung to us. She knew we loved her, and we felt that love back.", I want my husband to say "She made me feel strong when I was weak, she was my biggest cheerleader and my not so silent conscience (come on you're kidding yourself if you think I don't have a lot to say to him, about everything). I loved her because He gave her to me and she loved me the same. When she was in my arms she was home." And I want "them" to say, she was kind, she showed love, she was humble (I'm workin' on that. On being sincerely humble, anyone who tells you their humble...not so humble), she shared God's love with those around her, she may have talked a lot but she listened even better, she was a faithful friend, a loving wife, a fiercely protective but intensely passionate mother and she was some who made me feel like I mattered. Because you do, matter.

And mostly I want Him (God that is, when Him is capitalized in the middle of sentence that's the Big Him) to look at me and say, "You did what I asked, I lived in your heart and in your life, you brought me your mistakes and we fixed them together. You were who I meant you to be and I'm proud, welcome here."

Who do you want to be? Who do you want to leave your "mark" on?

What do you, want to be remember by?
*pictures in this post from our latest trip to the Othello Tunnels, there would be more of Bethany except she was a little cranky for the first half of our journey, kids.


The Smith's said...

That's a beautiful post Ashley. Thank you for sharing your heart once again. We have actually been talking about similar stuff within our church and today's talk was about our dark secrets that hold us captive and how we are called to be in the light and walking with Jesus, knowing Jesus. Thank you for the kick in the butt.

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Dude, you kicked some butt with this post.

Kami wuz here.

Sorry, couldn't resist! ;)

Anonymous said...

I am so in tears of joy, love, passion,and humbleness(sp). I am so challenged by this blog, as it is exactly what we have been in prayer about for awhile now. I just love what God does in you. It is such a blessing to see that you hear and do what God asks, as so few really do. It is not an easy task, but the benefits we reap are amazing. God bless your family always. Love Mom Kimmie

Anonymous said...

Our children leave impressions on our lives that last a life time. I can remember when I was a nurse (a million years ago) and I would be working with people who had dementia. LOTS of times in thier memory loss they would remember or relive things they had done with thier kids or thier kids had done for them. Ashley, the impressions and stamps that you and Dustin have left on my heart and life are part of what God has used to guide me in my walk with Him. Your questions, comments, opinions and views as little ones all the way through to today have been those things that God has used in me. I have learned more through you and Dustin growing up than I had ever expected to learn in a life time. Now those lessons are coming from your babies. Joy and Happiness are not always expressed in a smile but in the heart. God's abundant joy and His definition of happiness have been poured over me through watching you and Dustin grow into who you are today. I had no idea what would happen to me as a Mom, all I knew is I wanted to be a Mom. Now, the times I reflect back to the days I became a Mom, well they were the turning points in my life as to know what true happiness is because I get it more now the sacrifice that God made in giving His Son for us. I love you my dear lady, and thank you to you and my sweet heart of a Son in law for making me not only mom, mother in law but Grammy. You just wait, you think impressions only come from your kids... wait to you are a Grammy!!!!! You go from having 20 20 vision to having maginifying vision and can see even more!
Love you
Always...and forever
Mom / Grammy