Derek and I were hit with a wave of funerals of those 30 and younger last year. And today marks the one year anniversary of losing our dear friend Missy. A year of which I have spent so much time trying to understand why some people have to leave us so soon. Good, loving, compassionate, brave people... parents of young children. Even if I invested all of my energy and dedication into loving others, caring for orphans and international students, and sharing faith I would never even come close to matching Missy's level of passion and virtue!
Only recently have I started to come to a realization that I'll never get an answer that satisfies my heartache, one that makes me okay with having to lose such a good person. But, I also realized that the responsibility is up to me to impact the lives of others on her behalf, like she would have. It's the only way I know how to keep part of her alive and it's been healing- donating to orphan care, trying to be enthusiastic and friendly to the people I come across each day, trying to love my husband better and make sure others know how much I love and appreciate him-- all of the things that seemed so effortless for Missy!
This responsibility of carrying on a legacy of one gone to soon has influenced the name of Four who we will be meeting so soon. And I am more in love with his name than any name we've ever picked. His first name comes from an American soldier: a man of faith and good leadership, a father, a casualty of war. One who embraced the army values and made a difference in the lives that he led. He created a ripple effect into the lives of others, into the namesake of Four's middle name, who embraces the same values and passes them on to others. It's not the kind of meaning one finds in a baby book, but carries on our mission to instill the same character traits as our son grows up.
I am aware now, more than ever, that legacies don't stop when a person passes away. They live on in those of us who pick up where they left off and carry it on.