Once upon a time, a lady I love very much sent me a book.
Now, it’s not that unusual that someone would send me a book. In fact, it happens quite a lot. But this book was different. Because it was blank.
So, there I was, with an empty book. I asked her what I should do with it. And she said:
Write about your adventures and horses and cats. Write about the beautiful way you see the world. Write about your strength and positivity in the face of too much adversity. This book is completely unique – like you. Just write, darling girl.
Now, you might (justifiably) argue that she, not I, is the writer. For those words are so authentic, so loaded, so true. However I took her challenge and I put it to task.
You see, we are all scared of death. Naturally, we are scared of what happens when we disappear, the unknown, the pain, the ceasing to be. But, I have observed, many people are more terrified that they will be forgotten – that they will leave no legacy.
I have no dependant, barely any family, and a career that is at best honourably forgettable. I have raised millions of pounds for charitable causes and my work has undoubtedly saved lives. But I was always in the background – a fundraiser but not a figurehead. I will forever be one of the many thousands who have worked endless 14-hour days for charities of which you have heard. But I’m not a CEO and therefore you won’t see my name on an honours list any time soon.
So, the thought of legacy has always worried me deeply. I leave no children, no obvious charitable wake, and yet I do think my efforts are worthy of more than an unmarked headstone. So…. the book.
I decided that, as an historically-unimportant and less-world-changing version of Anne Frank, my book might be my legacy. Sure, my adversity is a raindrop in the ocean of people who have suffered like Anne. But still, should I meet my maker tomorrow, I’d like at least one person to read my musings. So I shall write them in my book. In the vague hope that perhaps, just perhaps, they might be of use or inspiration to a tiny collective of similar souls to my own. One can only try!