I read in the paper today of a company in New York that is wanting ‘to create a movement that encourages people to not wait until it’s too late to tell the ones they care about how they feel’. Instead of a card or email, birthday boys and girls receive a video where friends and relatives offer the kind of emotional tributes that they might otherwise reserve for a funeral.

It reminded me of my mothers 80th birthday celebration recently when I was lucky enough to be saying a few words. I decided that I wanted my Mum to know what difference she had made in people’s lives and what they valued and respected about her. I didn’t want to leave these words unsaid until her eulogy.

I loved doing the research and talking to many family members and friends about inspirational moments they had with my Mum. We had many a chuckle about her idiosyncrasies, gin drinking and how she used her innocent manner to get away with murder.

Can you believe it, that on the night I got booed!

I got booed and heckled by no other than my Mum who said on reflection that she couldn’t take any more lovely words and needed them to stop. It’s a shame that it wasn’t recorded as I am sure she would enjoy taking another look at what her family and friends really loved about her

My mum is a master at connecting people and acknowledging their skills and talents. She recently picked up a new group of friends on the train for no other reason than they were all wearing bright red lipstick. They’re planning on meeting again soon for tea and to plan their next outing. She’s a very stylish woman and looks amazing even when off to the allotment. She is blessed with good looks but also makes an effort and others say she inspires them to do the same. She’s very thoughtful too, thinking of others. A friend of hers swapped Xmas stockings with her sister but when she lost her sister recently, my mum stepped in and surprised her, to her friends emotional delight. My mum is great at delegating jobs and has a real skill at influencing and making others feel valued. It can backfire though when she asked more than one of us to do the same job! Her memory is not the best!

It did make me ponder about my own legacy. What would people say if I died right now? Especially as I know there is so much more I want to be doing and up to now I’ve played it safe.

What impact would I be leaving behind? And would I be proud of it? Well, I think yes is the answer, which is a relief but not anything like as proud as I want to be at the end.

Better get on with it!

Watch this space.

PS I encourage you to think: “What’s your legacy?”

– Sarah