Day 1712: Legacies

Earlier this week, I witnessed a discussion about legacies in a therapy group.  People spoke about the legacies left them by their families and also the legacies they hope to leave behind.

I’ve established a legacy here of defining my terms, so …

noun, plural legacies.
1. Law. a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.
2. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor:
“the legacy of ancient Rome.”
3. an applicant to or student at a school that was attended by his or her parent.
4. Obsolete. the office, function, or commission of a legate.
5. of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.

The discussion of legacies in the group focused on the second definition (although I’m now thinking about old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data, which seems to be an ongoing legacy of the information revolution).

Here’s what I wrote about legacies in the group:



Just to be clear, I’m not hoping to leave behind the legacy of a broken heart.   That drawing illustrates something else the group discussed: when something is broken, there can be great strength at the places of mending and healing.  Ernest Hemingway, who left behind a legacy of great literature, said it this way:

The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.

Actually,  Hemingway’s legacy in A Farewell to Arms was in the context of this:

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

I’m hoping one of my legacies to my son will be this view from our new home:


… but who knows what that legacy will look like by the time I’m gone.

I’ve tried to leave behind a legacy of great music in this blog. Here‘s The Legacy Trio playing Pat Metheny’s “Question and Answer.”

What do you think about the legacies in the post?  You could leave a comment behind, below.

I also try to leave a legacy of gratitude.  Thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to you and all your legacies.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Day 1712: Legacies

  1. I hope the legacy of the Hemingway Museum in Key West resists the pending fury of Irma, Ann.

  2. In Australia our Legacy is “ANZAC” day….

    • To make sure we all understand that legacy, I’ll quote Wikipedia:

      Anzac Day /ˈænzækˈdæi/ is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

      Anzac Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga, and previously was a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

  3. You said this so good, Ann 🙂
    I would like to leave the love of life to my kids.

  4. At first I misread “What I want to leave behind” as “What I want to get rid of”, then I remembered that you were speaking about legacies. All the things you want to leave behind are, of course, wonderful legacies, which is why I’ve reread the list three times now.
    Repetition and being remembered are, of course, the keys to a legacy. As long as you are not forgotten you’re never really gone.

  5. A legacy is a big thing to leave behind. Possession-wise, I don’t think I have much. Except a unicorn collection. Hopefully I leave behind heart. Some of us feel too much, but that’s a good thing in its own way. It stirs compassion. Something else I’d like to leave behind.

  6. As you will know by now, I signed probate papers yesterday – synchronicity, I think

  7. I frequently think about the legacy I want to leave my grandchildren. Time is shorter than with my own children, so I feel more urgency to make every moment meaningful. I think the legacy I will indeed leave them is that they know their grandmother very truly adored them! Maybe that is enough to carry them through, should our time not extend as long as I sure do hope it does. 🙂 Your parents left you a wonderfully long list of very special traits. Those are the only “legacy commitments” I even care about. I have a lot of family heirlooms, and they’re nice, but I never think of them in the context of legacy. You touched a nerve with this post, Ann, because I think if we love and care for others, there’s a responsibility to consider where and how we leave your touch. Lovely post!

    • You touched me with this lovely and heart-felt comment, Debra. You’ve left quite a legacy of those on this blog. Many thanks.

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