A year ago today I lost a good friend of mine. I was away for a week learning to swim and had a message from a friend to say Kate had passed away. I was at my laptop in the hotel restaurant and the news knocked me sideways. I was so shocked. Of all the people I expected to pass away in the near future Kate was not one of them.
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Kate was a pro at grabbing life with both hands and in losing her I realised that I should grab life more too. A hashtag was thought up soon after, with everyone sharing their #bemorewitwitwoo moments and anything that reminded them of Kate. I had my very first Maxibon in her honour and put a bikini pic on Instagram for the very first time.
Soon after Kate died we realised that not long before she had written a really poignant post about the legacy she would like to leave her children. Even now I think about this and think how incredibly sad it is that she left her children so unexpectedly early.
But, it also made me think about what legacy I would like to leave my children and really, what legacy I would like to leave. Full stop. How would I want to be remembered?
I don’t have any plans to die in the near future. But neither did Kate. I like to think that since she died I have made more of a conscious effort to be nice, to be kind and to help people where I can. I would like to be remembered as someone that always tried to do the right thing.
I would also like to be remembered as a yes person – and I have definitely said yes a lot more in the last year. Our calendar is so full because of all the times I have said yes and I know in a work perspective that I have been out of my comfort zone a lot more often. A year ago I was happy in my comfort zone – now I strive to step out of it more and make my comfort zone that much bigger by learning new things, challenging myself and just being open to new situations and ideas.
I hope my children remember how hard their Daddy and I worked to give them a good childhood. How the solid foundations of our life have always been the most important thing aside from the children. I would like to be remembered as resourceful, a provider, a do-er.
There’s a lot that I won’t leave in my legacy. I can’t do accents. I can’t do the voices in bedtime stories. I don’t iron, I really don’t like crafting at home and Playdoh will never be my friend. But, I make up for those things in other areas. I always bake with the children, I always do craft kits and sets as long as they don’t involve any creative ability from me and I will always be happy to push a swing, kick a ball or roll around on the floor.
I guess the last year has taught me that we cannot do everything but we can be happy with the things we do, the people we have in our lives and the choices we make. Life is too short for bad friends, striving for Pinterest-worthy perfection and worrying what other people think.
Kate has left a gap in my life and it has taken a year for me to write about it. I couldn’t find the words before. We weren’t best friends – we had only seen each other a couple of times in real life. But online friendships aren’t the same as the day to day friends we have in life. We would send a message every so often asking how the other was, a little ‘chin up’ or a pat on the back when one was needed. We’d chat about work, about her dating endeavours and the kids. Kate was larger than life and she was always there. Until she wasn’t.
What legacy will I leave for my children? One that is full of good people, good memories and so much love. I don’t think anyone can wish for more than that really.