In one of the classes I go into, the lesson today was on anecdotes, those cute, quirky little stories that are told about someone to show some endearing (or not so endearing) quality. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the same old stories about people in my life. And I can tell you that those anecdotes are practically legends, particularly the ones about my father.
See my father was quite a cut-up when he was alive and well, before a stroke took his ability to speak and lung cancer took the rest of him. My favorites are the ones told by his siblings. Mostly, the stories involve him picking on them in some way or another. Oh, I'm not talking bullying...more like practical jokes. Considering that the first anecdote I'd heard of my father's childhood was about him trying to flush a kitten down the toilet when he was 5 or 6 (as he said, "I just wanted to see if it would go down), I'm relatively sure that Dad had a sense of the hilarity of the world (don't worry, animal fans, the kitten was fine--my grandmother saved the day). Other anecdotes include the time he convinced his younger brother to go up to a door and do the 1950's version of "Ding dong ditch," except that he drove away, leaving my uncle at the door. Or the time he walked into the room when one of his sister's dates was there, looked at the guy, laughed out loud, and walk out of the room. Don't even get me started on the anecdotes that I could tell about the silly stuff he did to my sister, brother, and I. I'll save those for another blog.
But the lesson I listened to today made me wonder. What types of anecdotes do people tell about me? How do the people in my life see me, and what do they remember about what I do? Oh, sure, I am relatively sure that my cake wrecks from children's birthday parties gone by would make it in the top ten stories, and let's not forget some of the very embarrassing stories of school-girl crushes and the dumb things I would do. How do I want to be remembered? How do I want to be seen? Am I the person I want to be?
The truth is, I hope that my children laughingly tell "Mom" stories that make others smile or chuckle. I would like to be remembered as someone for whom life was great fun. I want people to remember me laughing.