Recently, my family moved back to the city in which I spent many of my formative years. It has brought back many wonderful memories like visiting the church we loved as a family and learned many life lessons and smaller things like eating at one of our favorite local restaurants. As I get reacquainted with this city that I’ve been away from for nine years, I keep running into people who knew my dad. Even if they don’t know me or remember me, they remember him. Most people say the same thing—he was such an encourager, or he was such a nice and humble man. Most go on to say he taught me so many things or I’m a better person because of the things I learned from him. And the statement that astounds me the most when others reflect on his recent passing, is that his passing is a HUGE loss for our community—a community of 500,000 diverse people. Yet as diverse as it is, everyone says the same thing about my father. There wasn’t a person who came into his presence that wasn’t blessed.
This is a daily reminder of the power we have in our name. The life we live should be one that leaves a legacy of not only nice compliments, but one that is felt across a community, a state, even the world. Our legacy should leave others striving to be better. We should leave this world in a better state than how we came to it. We should never become so busy we don’t touch people and share compassion with our neighbors. We should always take a moment to teach and be taught. We should lend a helping hand and be all that God created us to be. We should leave this world totally empty of potential and full of performance. Our life should say, “Praise the Lord!” I can honestly say, I hope to measure up to the stature of my father and one day leave a legacy just as rich.
~Coletta Jones Patterson