In the last ten years of his life … at least until the very end … my Dad experienced a kind of Renaissance in his life. He had been living alone in the little house I grew up in since my mother passed away 10 years earlier from the effects of diabetes. His Renaissance began inauspiciously with a bout of depression that left him afraid to be alone in the house he worked so hard to buy, which led … eventually … to his move the the Village at Mariner’s Point, a beautiful assisted living community in East Haven, CT. I was fortunate during those years to have clients in Rhode Island, which allowed me to be there both to support him through his depression and visit him frequently at the Village. It turns out those years were a Renaissance for my relationship with Dad as well. To me, Dad had always been somewhat of a closed book, someone I loved but didn’t know very well. After all, I had moved to California in 1971 and never had the opportunity to spend much time with his as an adult. He was a quiet man who kept his emotions to himself and I was his arrogant son. Just as ten years of working the 12 Steps chipped away at my arrogance, recovering from depression opened him up. Sitting with him in his room or talking over dinner, we got to know each other. He told me things about himself … and his childhood … that I’d never known. He told me he was proud of me. You have no idea how many grown men are living their lives subconsciously wishing from those words for Dad. They were difficult years in a number of ways but they were also my best years with him, years I which I learned the true measure of the man.
Maybe it’s being a man. Maybe it’s being young. Maybe it’s being a young man. Whatever the reason, I had no interest in my Dad’s legacy to that point. I was busy building my own. I am so lucky that I got those years before he left us. There are still so many things I’d like to ask him. I wish I’d had time to get to know my Mom the same way. That brings me to my topic … Legacy Blogging. That’s hardly a universal term so let me define what I mean: creating a blog telling your life story specifically for your children. This isn’t the first time I’ve posted on the subject … back in 2012, I posted Fatherhood – Leaving a Legacy, in which I talked about starting my own Legacy Blog titled A Dad’s Legacy. In Online Legacies almost a year later, I talked about how long legacies left on blogging sites like WordPress could actually be expected to last. Given the finite life span of businesses and the continual advance of technology, that needs to be considered if you want your legacy to last more than a few years. A post with the same title as this one on The Premier Homecare Services Blog suggests: If you’re concerned about all the blog content being lost forever into the internet black hole, you may wish to consider the services that convert blogs into books – a permanent memoir and great reading! These blog to book services can be found at places like Blurb or Blog2Print. I’m going to look into that. I wonder how you know when to stop blogging and start printing. Hmmm. That post also offers some examples of Legacy Blogs and a link to the ageless project, a listing of other blogs by seniors (in case you need an Older Perspective in addition to mine). Me? I’m going to do some reading there and submit Older Eyes for consideration.
In the meantime, what led me back to the topic of Legacy Blogging is that I’ve been copying some Older Eyes posts to A Dad’s Legacy. Frequently, with just a little rewording they work perfectly. This week’s Kid Stuff, in which I talk about childhood TV shows, is a perfect example. Writing a Legacy Blog can be a solitary project … if your kids are like mine (or like I was), they’re not interested enough to follow along and appreciate what you’re doing. You’re investing your time on the hope that someday, who you were will be important to them. But I will tell you … writing your own legacy gives you perspective on your own life, something that is worth the price of admission. You can check out A Dad’s Legacy here … but I’d appreciate it if you left any comments here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.
And I’ll ask again … have you considered leaving a legacy for your kids?