What’s Your Living Epitaph?

tombstoneHow do you want to be remembered? I promise I’m not being morbid. As you think of your life, what have you accomplished so far? What goals and dreams do you still have you haven’t achieved yet? The older I get, the more I think about these questions in my own life. #epitaphs #goals #thehighchaparral #Ikeeptyring Click to Tweet

Even twenty years ago, I never thought that much about dying or what my tombstone should say. But in the last ten years, my mother died and my father-in-law. They were our last two parents. I began to think about how I might be remembered.

Did you ever see the old western “The High Chaparral?” In the fourth and last season, there’s an episode where two of the main characters of the series are being held hostage in a bank overnight while waiting for the morning stage. Through the course of the episode, it comes out that the bank teller is also a poet of sorts, writing epitaphs. One of the bad guys asks the teller to write his, and one for the Indian hostage. Yuma, the bad guy, promises the teller to return a watch he’d stolen, if he likes what he hears. Wind, the half-breed Indian who was a recurring regular on the last season of the series, also gets one.

An epitaph Yuma came up with: “Buried here is Pecos Bill. Always lied, always will. Once lied loud, now lies still.”

The teller came up with this one for Yuma. “There was a man called a prison’s name. Who stole, and killed, and lived in shame.” For that, the teller’s watch was thrown to the floor and broke into pieces.

RudyThe best of the lot, was the epitaph for Wind, a half-breed white/Pawnee, who worked at The High Chaparral ranch and had escorted the lady of the house, Victoria Cannon, to Tuscon, when they were taken hostage during a holdup attempt. “When the child was born the first sound heard in the hush of the dawn was the wind that stirred. So they called him that. And all his life long he would know, after death, that the wind sang his song.” (Screen captured his reaction).

Why all this talk of epitaphs? Because I want to be remembered, and I’d like you to think about what people will remember about you.

Here’s my “living epitaph,” short and sweet: “I keep trying.” I’ve been saying this all my life, and I’ve been saying it a lot lately. Because I keep trying, in everything I do, to keep going. Late last week, an acquaintance from college posted on Facebook that her 20-year old daughter committed suicide, and she hadn’t seen it coming. There was no warning. This poor girl gave up on life, leaving her family reeling.

I keep trying. I’ve had a lot of failures and a lot of rejection to overcome. But I keep trying. I keep trying to find that thing I can be successful at. When I reach my death bed, I will still raise my head, heart and hand to heaven and say “I keep trying.”

It’s a different way of saying “Never give up.” So, forever, on my tombstone, I want it to say, “I keep trying.” Ok, they can put it in past tense once I’m dead.

Maybe this is my “living” epitaph. What’s yours? #Ikeeptrying #goals #thehighchaparral #epitaphs Click to Tweet. Leave a comment and let me know.

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