Admitting failure is not an easy thing. I hate it. However, it is time that I suck it up and deal with it. I’m a failure. There I’ve said it and the world hasn’t come crashing down around me. I guess that is something.
I never thought much about leaving a legacy behind when I died until my grandchildren were born. I figured my children either accepted me for who and what I was or they didn’t; plain and simple. However, when my grandchildren came along, all of a sudden I wanted them to be proud of me. It was important. It drove me to aspire to be more than I was.
Thinking back on my grandparents and great-grandparents, I never cared about what they accomplished. I loved them for who they were. However, they managed to accomplish some remarkable things.
My great-grandmother made the Cherokee land run. Sure, she was a kid at the time, but she still made it.
My great-grandfather delivered mail by wagon through Northwest Oklahoma. He did it come rain or snow and way back then, that wasn’t an easy task.
My grandmother was a self-taught floral designer who managed to win more than her share of design competitions. More than that, she made people smile. People came from all over Oklahoma to get one of her arrangements.
My grandfather grew the flowers my grandmother used. His orchids were amazing. His poinsettias were the talk of the state as were his Easter lilies. In fact, there was nothing he grew in his greenhouse that didn’t sell like wildfire. He had the green thumb of all green thumbs.
I loved my great-grandmother because she made me walk the line. She wouldn’t take any crap from me. She insisted I be a “good” girl and I was. I wanted to please her more than anything. We were close. I still remember playing dominoes with her at age 90. She beat me then as she always had.
I loved my great-grandfather because he told me tall tales that sparked my own creativity and made me smile. He always had time for me. He made each moment together spectacular.
I loved my grandmother because she was kind, gentle and a positive role model. She worked hard, took care of her family and loved with all of her heart.
I loved my grandfather because he was funny and warm. He took me everywhere with him if and when I wanted to go.
Ultimately, my grandparents didn’t have to “do” anything to make me love them or to appreciate their legacy. So why do I feel the need to do that with my own grandchildren? I can’t answer that question. I wish I could. It might give me some comfort. Sadly, there is none of that for me.
I hoped by writing, I could inspire my grandchildren to reach for their own dreams. The trouble is this: I’m no inspiration. I haven’t achieved my dreams. I have failed.
I love writing. It is the heart and soul of me. Sadly, I’ve been told often enough that I’m not very good at it. I think I must accept that fact as hard as it is to swallow.
What does that all mean? To tell you the truth I don’t know that answer. It may mean I never put pen to paper again. If that happened, it wouldn’t be any great loss. No one would truly miss my silly ramblings. My friends would be sad for a moment, but they’d get over it. No one “needs” my words; at least no one except me.
I need my words. I need to feel like I am contributing something. Still, if no one reads my words, do they mean anything? That is the dilemma that I must face. It is that question I must answer before I decide whether or not to quit writing for good.
I am “manning up” so to speak. I am admitting that my productive years as a teacher, a trainer, a business woman, etc. are over. I have little else to offer but my words. If they mean nothing, it follows that I mean nothing as well. If that is true then I’m done at age 64. I find that a sad testament to an ineffective life.
I’d like to think this is my depression talking. I want it to be only that. However, something in the deepest part of my soul says that isn’t the case. It is my failure talking. It is demanding that I own up to the truth.
I’ve had a wonderful life. I’ve done a lot of amazing things. I have a devoted husband, two beautiful children and two grandchildren that I adore. I’d like to think that is enough but I fear I might fall short in the eyes of the Lord. I’ve clearly missed my true calling. I’ve missed that one thing I was meant to do.
If I don’t find it soon, it will be too late. Then how do I justify my existence to God? That question haunts me every day. I fear I’ve frittered away the greatest gift ever given – life. Why? It is because I didn’t figure out how to touch others; how to make their lives better. I do believe that’s what each of us was put here to do. Sadly, I haven’t accomplished that.
Like I said, I am a failure. That’s a lot to live with. It’s even more difficult to face it as death grows ever closer.