When Joe passed, there wasn’t a rush to fill his void with something. Mostly it was because he left behind his daughter Lilly. She is his legacy. She carries into the world what he couldn’t.
Lilly is Joe’s echo back into the universe. That’s one of the jobs of our collective children. They keep our DNA and our spirt chugging along even after we’re gone. When we sit around campfires reminiscing our lives and general circumstance, we bring back our grandparents and their legacy lives in family stories and our personalities and all sorts of childhood legend.
Z left and her legacy is a little more fragile. The natural progression through generations is gone. She doesn’t have the advantage of long life and progeny that would keep stories of life and love alive 100+ years down the road.
I think that realization is starting to bear down on those of us she left behind. There is a mad scramble to make sure that everyone knows who she was and what she did in our lives.
This past Saturday I wen to the first annual Izzy shoot. It was coordinated by her archery coach and is part of the St. Mary invitational tournament. It’s a fun shoot. The Izzy shoot doesn’t weigh into team standings or personal stats. Three members of each represented school shoot from each invited team, best score of a possible 120 points wins.
I sat in the bleachers watching these kids move their way through 12 mixed range targets and felt an overwhelming sense of legacy. I was called out of the stands to give the award to a boy from Hartland, MI. He didn’t understand the gravity of the situation for me or the St. Mary archery coaches or even the Hartland coach.
The St. Mary kids understood. They have new uniforms this year. Z’s name is at the top of the back of each shirt.
Z’s life will be etched into a little piece bronze colored plastic and put into the home of the best shooter at the St. Mary archery invitational for a very (very) long time.
Joe and I have both Lilly and Alex to keep our legacy moving forward. We’re doing okay – I’m sure the girls will do a fine job understanding what we did as parents and reflecting his spirit (and eventually mine) in the good and proper focus.
I am overwhelmed with what she will continue to leave behind. Being the winner of an official archery contest isn’t a flash in the pan. It lasts forever.
The Izzy shoot is 5 stars. Would recommend everyone attend next year.
Because of technology it will be much more possible to see and feel her legacy than it was for instance, my Uncle Homer or Grand Aunt Kathryn. Both of whom died young and we only have a hand full of pictures and a story here and there. Those even fade with each generation. With the infant Suzanne, we only have a marker that says she existed, a spot on the family tree, a birth certificate. With Isabella we have some funny stories, a couple of remarkable testimonies, (that only came to light since her death) and we have an award! As for me, I have a pair of mismatched socks in my drawer.
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