What will you leave behind?

“What you leave behind is not
what is engraved in stone monuments,
but what is woven into the lives of others.”
Pericles – Ancient Greek Politician, General and Statesman
495 BC-429 BC

I started blogging on March 1 2011 and for the next 365 days (with one or two exceptions) and well into 2012, I wrote a post daily.  My intention was to leave something for my grandsons after I have left this world.  They would hopefully then, get an insight into their grandmother’s thoughts and experiences through my writing.

I have written about growing up in London during the Second World War.  How could they be expected to understand this part of my life if I didn’t tell them about it?  And they needed to be told about the loving family in which I grew up.  Little money, no luxuries but so much love to spread around.  I cherish those memories and hope that I have passed them on to my children and their children.

I have told about the close relationship I have always enjoyed with my two sisters, even though one lives in London, England and the other in Los Angeles, California.  With my living in Wellington, New Zealand could we live further away from each other if we had planned it?  I told how we used to keep in contact through letters and the occasional (very expensive) phone call.  Now of course, since the internet, communication is mostly via email.

In another post I told about my wonderful Father and his influence on my life.  How he supported his three daughters telling them they could be and do anything they chose.  How this filled us with self confidence that has stood us in great stead over the years.  In fact, because of this grounding I have been able to do so many things over my life.

I have written about meeting my DYS (dashing young Scotsman) when I was 19 and marrying him a few months later.  I have told of following him around the world with two small children in tow as he furthered his career.  Of leaving one set of friends behind and making new ones wherever we went.  And although the boys may well have heard of these travels from their parents their view of this part of our lives would naturally be different to mine.  I have no way of knowing  how my children really felt about being uprooted yet again to move to a new place.  They both did seem to cope very well and have turned into two well rounded adults in spite of the disruptions in their lives.  And in later years when we have spoken of this they assured me that they felt they had benefited from the moving around.  And here I can insert one of my favourite words – They had what could be described as a peripatetic childhood.

I have written about Yesterday when I was Young and some of the happy memories I have of those times when the children were living at home and life was so busy.  And then of the times after they had moved onto the next phase of their lives, and there were only the two of us to move through the next phase of our lives.

I have told about deciding to move away from the city to an idyllic place beside the water far from the madding crowd, and how, when things didn’t turn out as expected, we moved back to civilisation once again.

In my blog posts I have written about my Mother’s death , of my Father’s death and the ghastly time following  the untimely death of my DYS (is any death really timely?)  But life goes on and I have chronicled some of things I have done since being on my own.

I spent several months on three separate occasions playing companion to an elderly English woman.  A great learning process and a fabulous area to live in and explore.  If I win the Lottery I shall buy a ‘cottage’ there and spend our winter months in Sussex.

So while I am not writing a post every day now, I hope that I have succeeded in part in what I set out to do.  The posts recording memories and activities will still continue as and when something comes up that I think somebody may be interested in hearing about.  Currently I am researching how to put the posts into a published book for the boys.   I imagine that will take some time.  And I have just remembered, my daughter always tells friends when I am leaving their houses not to “worry about what she takes but what she leaves behind”.  I hope I am leaving something special.

“To live in lives we leave behind
is not to die”
Judith Baxter, Blogger, friend, mother…
1938 –

If you are interested in reading some of the posts mentioned above, here are the links:

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45 thoughts on “What will you leave behind?

  1. I spent 33 years as a high school history teacher. I learned that history academics was not very important . Getting these kids functionally literate was the real task. To read.to write,to engage in text and to communicate. Whatever failings are part of my life I am comfortable that I leave that effort behind.

    • And so you should be proud that you made a difference in so many lives Carl. I like to think I influenced my children and grandchildren and perhaps some of my Life Coaching clients too. Thanks for the comment friend.

  2. What a glorious, contemplative and full ( i wanted a better word but ‘full’ just seems right) Post. lovely to read and lovely to know you.. I do look forward to your words.. c

  3. I love the quotes, both of them. You have managed to write your autobiography! What a treasure to leave behind, Judith. I always enjoy reading of your escapades. 🙂

    • Thanks Patti. When I started in March last year I wondered if anybody would be interested in what I had to say. I am pleased to report that there are those in the blogosphere who seem to like the posts.

  4. Oh Judith, this is such a lovely post, and what a wonderful gift you are creating for your grandchildren. I am/was doing the same thing and have actually created the book with Technicolor Day Dreams, my first blog. I used an online service called Blog2Print and was delighted with the results. I will be giving the book to the kids this Christmas. Once again, my friend, we are on “the same page.” 🙂

  5. How wonderful that you are creating something for your grandchildren to treasure. And they will treasure it. I have always been sorry that I didn’t record the wonderful stories my grandparents told of immigrating to Canada. I should have asked more questions and written it down. I have loved all of your posts but my favourites are about your childhood. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with the book.

    • How often we hear people saying I wish I had made notes, asked more questions or whatever, because these stories usually die with the person who holds the memories. Thank you for the lovely comment Darlene. 🙂

  6. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts! I think you’re leaving behind something beautiful that they will treasure – if not now, surely when they are adults. You don’t have to write every day for it to be meaningful.

    • I wonder whether I should keep them until they are older. Would teenage boys really be interested in the doings of their Granma? Thank you for the last comment. 🙂

  7. I have been trying to catch up on reading blogs. Yours has been a pleasure to read since I found it. A written record is something important to leave behind – you have done well with your goal. I will look forward to future posts even if not quite so frequent.

  8. Well, thank you for teaching me a new word today – peripatetic. I had to look it up!

    You write of your yesterday as if you are 80 years old, but your words are young spirited though wise, I sense.

    I enjoyed reading this. I have always begged to leave “something” behind, more than, say, a broken timepiece.

  9. Thanks Noleen. I am in fact 74 years old but in spirit I am coming up to 35. I hope my grandsons will enjoy reading about their ancient grandmother at some time. 🙂

    • Katherine, thank you for the comment. I have found a group of like minded people in this blogging world and “they all add to the tapestry of my life”, I like those five words together.

  10. Lovely Post, Judith. For my 50th birthday, a dear friend gave me a gift certificate to Blurb.com to turn my blog into a book. Check it out. I think it’s just what you need!

  11. Wonderful Judith… You’ve covered a lot of territory with your blogging and I’m sure they will be thrilled. I’m writing a family memoir offline so my blog has been more about sharing motivational and uplifting words, quotes, poems, and pictures… with a few personal stories added. Scott from WP wrote a great post on publishing/self publishing and more early this year. It covers the whole gamut and is a must read. Here’s the link: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/how-to-turn-your-blog-into-a-book/

  12. Your posts are such a treasure for your grandsons. When I decided to take a break, I was surprised that my youngest son said he was going to miss reading my posts because he learned so much about me. He also said he was worried that he would lose my already published posts if something happened at Word Press and asked me to start saving them and printing them out. So I hope you do get the story of your life published for those boys. It will mean so much to them.

    • Thanks Susan. I think I have decided to print the posts and then get them bound into books. In this way I can determine the posts that will interest them. I am delighted that your son reads your blog and wants to keep the posts. 🙂

    • Thank you so much. I really love your aunt’s memories. I forwarded the link on to both of my sisters, one in London and one in Los Angeles. I just know they will love to read your aunt’s blog.

    • Thank you so much for this link to your Aunt’s blog. I was born shortly before the outset of WWII and know that these men and women were bravely doing a great job. I have subscribed to the blog so that I don’t miss any of her writings/memories.

      Thanks again. Judith

      Judith Baxter 021 797 400/385 2747

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