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 of or relating to old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data that, while still functional, does not work well with up-to-date systems.
The discussion of legacies in the group focused on the second definition (although I’m now thinking about old or outdated computer hardware, software, or data, which seems to be an ongoing legacy of the information revolution).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.
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.