A Lasting Legacy

This post is about a father who has a special message to give his daughter.

Each and every day.

In fact, he has written many, many messages. Ever since the day his daughter climbed aboard that yellow school bus headed for her first day of kindergarten, along with her trusty lunch box, he has been writing her "Napkin Notes"- words of inspiration with thought provoking tidbits to inspire her.  These daily messages also remind her that her dear old dad is thinking about her every single day. When she opens her lunch box, there it is...a napkin note just for her (and all her classmates!).

He is known as "The Napkins Note Dad".  What once was born out of a wish to enhance a father- daughter bond, has became a greater mission fueled by Garth Callaghan's diagnosis of cancer.

The part of this story that tugs at my heart strings is that Garth has vowed to write 826 notes to his daughter Emma. And he has only 40 left to write to complete his promise to her.

Why write so many napkin notes?

Garth wanted to be sure that his only child will have a special napkin note, each and every day, stuffed into her school lunch box until the very last day when she graduates from high school...no matter what happens!

Garth is planning ahead. There is a chance with his cancer diagnosis that he may not be on this earth when her graduation rolls around. He made a promise and plans to keep it-whether or not he is living at the time of her graduation.

This is a wonderful living legacy.  One that is simple to do and is very personal.

Garth was recently invited on The Today Show where he stated that his story is not about having cancer. It is about imparting ideas, thoughts, quotes and personal messages to his only child-the kind that teaches the trails and tribulations of life while embracing a father's love for his child.

Remarkable.

Here are some ideas you might wish to consider as a lasting legacy for your loved ones:

1.  Your written journals and personal diaries fit into the same "lasting legacy" category as Napkin Notes.  The question ultimately becomes what do you want to happen to those jam filled books of your well documented  personal thoughts, quotes, stories and feelings after you die?

2. Do you have any journals? What are your plans for what happens to them after you die?  Do you want your children to have them, to read them, to digest your truest thoughts and feelings? Or do you want them destroyed?

3. Do you have any videos that you have created and want shared? If so, with whom? And when?

4. Have you made any audio tapes?  Your voice may be something that your loved ones will want to hear after your death. I have tapes of my mother's distinctive voice, singing with her a cappella ladies group. It is a treasure to me.

5.  Have you considered writing handwritten letters to be opened after your death?  While this may seem a bit morbid, my father gave me a personal letter written from my mom to me after she died. The envelope states in her familiar cursive handwriting : " In case something bad happens".  Reading this note reminds me that she was thinking about how I would feel upon her death and she wanted to comfort me, as mothers often do.  A birthday card, signed by mom prior to her sudden death, was at first a shock to receive, yet was a wonderful gift.

6. Consider writing stories of your family history together with tales of how you and your spouse met and how ultimately your loved ones came into your life.

Any lasting legacy will be a gift to your loved ones who will miss you when you are no longer around.

Garth's daughter will be so glad to have that pile of napkins...whatever the future may bring.