The world lost a good man last Monday. A really good man. And whenever I drink a gin and tonic, I will remember him.
Legacy sometimes is as much about the little things. It’s funny what reminds you of your loved ones. Random pennies on the ground remind me of my grandfather who had a habit of always looking for (and handing out) lucky pennies. Orange soda reminds me of my grandmother who would allow us to drink soda at her house as a treat. Mamba fruit chews remind me of a high school friend who we lost years too early.
Mr. S. always celebrated life with a smile and a cocktail. He was a stylish man, and a kind man (which don’t always go hand in hand.) He raised a lovely family, and always clinked his glass with a smile to his beloved wife. He was, in short, a class act. And the man loved a gin and tonic. Every time I squeeze a lime into the cold cocktail, I’ll smile with a fondness for a life well lived.
Someday we, too, will be remembered by our loved ones. If we are lucky, they will remember our character, our kindness, and the shape of our smile. And chances are, they will remember something incredibly specific about our habits. That particular thing/habit/trademark will forever imprint on their lives. Maybe it is our hatred for black licorice. Maybe it is our love for french braids. Maybe it is the way that we pronounce the word “Worcestershire” when ordering a steak.
Some of our signature habits might have been revealed to us. Maybe we have already trademarked our signature cocktail of orange juice and Malibu spiced rum. Maybe we know that our grandkids will always remember the way that we fold napkins to look like bunnies at the dinner table. Maybe our husbands have told us that they will forever think of us when they smell lilac-scented soap.
Yet, others of us might be blind to our habits. Perhaps you don’t realize that people associate artichoke dip with you, because you don’t realize how often you order it. Maybe you have no idea that other people will always remember you as the person who never wanted fruit in their spa water. Maybe you don’t know that your grandkids will always think of you when they pass a beaver dam, and remember your affinity for the animals.
The bottom line is that whether or not you know what will remind others of you, the important thing is that you are remembered.
Cheers, Mr. S. We’ll think of you often.