Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Go Ask Your Mother: Legacy

One of the things about fatherhood that I think is often different from motherhood is the concept of legacy. I think because mothers are typically defined as successful based on how well cared for their children are. Fathers, on the other hand, place a lot of stock in passing on something to their children. I think this is the result of sharing a name with our kids and because we are often the ones earning the main source of income. We men want our kids not only to have it good now, but have something they can hold on to long after we are gone and remember us by.

I remember during the celebration of my grandmother's birthday it occurred to me that if the world continues spinning long enough, my daughter will be an old woman one day. She will have children and grandchildren and generations from now they will have just as finite an understanding of what my life was like as I do my great-grandparents. For me, I want to leave a legacy. I can't guarantee that I will do great things or be famous but there are a few things I can hand down through the years.

Obviously, my faith is the most important thing I want to pass down. My great-greats may have my nose, or my eyes, or even my personality traits, but more than anything I want them to know God.

As far as non-spiritual matter go, I can look back and think of something that I am proud of that was passed down to me. My grandfather (dad's dad) was a whistler. He hummed a tune now and again but everyone knew Bob Glover by his whistling. He could hit any note and "play" any song dead on. He was never without music. I remember standing in his back yard as a youngster and watching him demonstrate his technique and trying so hard to do it to0.

As I grew, I learned to whistle too. In fact, I've gotten pretty darn good at it and I whistle just like he did. When I'm working or concentrating on something I start whistling out a church song or old country tune in much the same way I remember him doing.

He was a hero of mine and I lost him to cancer in the spring of 2004. I remember scaring my grandmother when I was walking through her house whistling after he died. It startled her cause it sounded just like he was still there. It was then that I realized that he didn't just teach me to whistle or give me the gift of never-ending music. He had made sure that I would never be without him. I often have people tell me that I do things that remind them of Bob, and I can honestly say there is no higher compliment I can be paid. When I miss him, I whistle, and he is there with me.

The other day I was whistling and Anna-Kate looked at me and asked, "What are you doing?!" What a blessing it will be to teach her how to whistle, to give her the gift of music, to ensure that she will always carry a part of me with her, to teach her about a great man that she never got the chance to know.


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