Over the weekend I sat once again in the side room at the funeral home in my hometown.
This time an old high school friend was gone. He was also a relative on my wife’s side of the family.
As it turned out a group congregated in the side room just off the main viewing room. My wife, her brother, and several of her cousins.
As you would expect the conversation soon moved to memories of various ones in the past generation. Robert, Uncle Roy, Grandpa Bertram, Great Aunt Melissa….. you get the idea.
Later we all embarrassed one cousins son Brett as we told stories of him as a boy. Now he is the high school principal. This lead to a discussion of how many of the family were involved in “home town” schools. Teachers and administrators. One of the cousins (by marriage) had a thirty year career in that local district. Many of his former students are now teachers and county administrators.
The discussion moved on to other “youngsters” (now in their late 30’s and early 40’s) and what they were doing with their lives.
We joked about the funeral director and stories of his childhood.
As darkness fell we slowly dispersed with hugs and handshakes and headed for the cars.
Driving home in the quiet of the evening I reflected on many of the conversations and how they weren’t just memories of events — but also memories of how we were shaped and molded in those events.
Not intentionally necessarily — but influenced. For either good or bad.
All of us have those whom we impact on a daily basis. Cumulatively those daily impacts create an overall influence. Once cousin noted in an off-hand manner that “We are the generation” — meaning the previous one is almost all gone.
That comment was significant. We are that generation. Either the one being influenced, the one influencing, or somewhere in between.
Sunday I visited a church that was having “Family Sunday”. All ages in the same service — children’s department in charge. It was fun. Kids helped lead songs, read scripture, even tell the story (sermon).
What influence are you having on those following behind?
What influences you as you move forward?