How Will You Be Remembered?

What probably sticks out the most in my mind from last Saturday’s luncheon for people who graduated from Frostburg State University fifty years ago wasn’t seeing a few familiar people, but having a time of remembrance for former classmates who’ve passed away.


A good-sized list of those stood on a table at one end of the room, and co-master of ceremonies Pat Garrett went through that list name by name as part of the luncheon’s events. He told whatever he knew about each person and asked attendees to share anything they knew or remembered about the deceased.

A number of the deceased were remembered only as having been good people–or nice ones. But those were still positive memories.

Many of the deceased either weren’t commented on at all, however. Whether they had truly been that inconspicuous during their college years or attendees didn’t feel it was right to say bad things about them, I couldn’t say.

I can’t help being curious. Once I’ve passed away, what will people at future reunions remember about me? I wasn’t an athlete. I wasn’t in any activities except the Baptist Student Union. (If any of my friends from the BSU came to the reunion, I didn’t see them.) I did play my guitar and sing at the Leaves of Grass coffee house on Friday nights, but that probably wasn’t overly memorable, either.


Death for a Christian is a good thing, not something to dread or regret. We believe we’ll be in a better place. Such a perfect place it makes the best earth has to offer seem trivial and worthless.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to be remembered–and hopefully in a good way. I don’t know about other peoples’ legacies, but I hope and pray that my novels and songs (maybe even some of my blog posts) will prove to be a worthy legacy, even if they’re not overly popular.

Success with the masses now or later isn’t the important thing. Blessing lives–eve a few lives–is, even if people don’t remember my name.

Twenty-five years ago I wrote a song called “What Will You Leave Behind?” Several years ago I did a video selfie of myself playing and singing that song. I keep the DVD in a lock box under the bed…to be played at my funeral, which I hope won’t be anytime soon.

The lyrics go like this:

When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Precious memories for your friends and family
Or relief that you’re no longer there?
Will the faith you’ve shared bring them comfort
Or your hopelessness cause them more grief?
When you die, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will your words continue to encourage
Or the harm they’ve engendered linger on?
Do your teachings tell of God’s Kingdom
While your actions point the other way?
When you pass away, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?
Will the good you’ve planted bloom like flowers
Or the problems you’ve sown spread like weeds?
Is your life well invested in others
Or will your influence die at your death?
When you depart this life, you can’t take it with you,
But what will you leave behind?

How I hope I will be remembered for the good. What about you? How do you think you’ll be remembered?

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

Links you might be interested in:


On Being Remembered


(Leonardo’s “Last Supper” as portrayed in the Wax Museum at Luray Caverns;
click on thumbnail to see a larger picture)

We all know we’re going to die some day. Right?

Wouldn’t it be neat if we could know exactly when so we could gather our friends and family around the night before for one last special meal? A real celebration. All of our favorite foods–no counting calories–and we’d get to talk all we wanted to about everything we wanted to talk about because this would be the last time we knew people would be listening to us.

And to make the occasion even more special, we would make this request: whenever this group of special people eats together again, let it be in remembrance of us.

If you’re a Christian–maybe even if you’re simply familiar with the New Testament–you might think this idea sounds familiar.

And well it should. It’s my best effort at describing “The Lord’s Supper”–also known as “Communion” and “The Last Supper.”

Jesus’s death was eminent. And even though he’d been teaching these disciples for three years, He realized that they hadn’t caught on to some of His most important teachings. Like the fact He would be raised from the grave again.

This was His last chance to speak to them and try to prepare them for what He was about to experience. And what they could ultimately expect.

But it wasn’t just a time of teaching. It was a time of fellowship. The Bible doesn’t say anything about the lighter side of the Last Supper, but I’ll bet there was some cutting up before things turned serious. After all, this was a celebration of the Passover, and the Passover was a joyous time, because it celebrated the Children of Israel’s survival when the Angel of Death killed the firstborn of all other living creatures in Egypt.

But the Last Supper turned serious. And when Jesus told his followers to think about Him whenever they ate that kind of meal together in the future, they probably didn’t understand that He wouldn’t be with them…not physically.

The things Jesus told His disciples would happen all came true, and when He rose from the grave and ultimately ascended to Heaven, that gave a whole new significance to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper through the ages.

In my church, it’s a very reverent time. And that’s appropriate in some ways.

But it should be joyous as well.

Please share a comment.


I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

Be on the lookout for my next novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, which releases on November 25.

Best regards,