In the News

What will be YOUR legacy?©

If you're a regular reader of this column you know that as I was writing it last week my wife, Bess, was in the Crisp Regional hospital awaiting transfer to the Luce Heart Center in Macon. Here's a brief update: she had three stints installed in her heart and I brought her home late Wednesday afternoon. Other than an Rx-induced headache she's doing fine and I'm hoping she's good for another 70,000 miles or so. Thanks to all of you who lifted her up in your prayers!

I don't know about you, but whenever I experience a potentially life-altering event like that, I begin to think of my own mortality. How can we help it at our age, right? Then throughout the week, a couple other things reinforced those thoughts. When I tell you what they were You'll think I'm crazy. But that's a risk I'll have to take in order to tell this story.

The first is a YouTube documentary I watched called "Untold stories of Daytona" (I said you'd wonder about me when I told you!). With Bess recuperating from her hospital stay, I had a little extra TV time so that's what I went to. The episodes went all the way back to the beginning of Daytona racing before Bill France even built the current speedway which was inaugurated in 1959. As the stories unfolded, they led up to 1969 when I was working as an intern at Chrysler in a group that was providing engineering support for the NASCAR racing teams. For you racing fans, that was the year we were building the Dodge Daytona wing cars and we were building them right there in the shop where I was working in Detroit under the direction of my boss, Larry Rathgeb. And then, all of a sudden, there on the screen in front of me was my old boss being interviewed; in fact he was the centerpiece of the 1969 season of this documentary. I'd say he was in his late 80's when it was filmed. Boy, did my eyes go wide open when I saw him for the first time in over 50 years!!! As I did a little bit of research afterward, I found out that he died this past March of the Covid 19 virus at the age of 90.

The second was a biographical documentary of Dale Earnhardt, the famous NASCAR driver who won seven NASCAR championships from 1980 to 1994; in this accomplishment he is tied with Richard Petty and Jimmy Johnson, some pretty tall competition. His racing achievements are far too numerous to list here. Sadly, his life came to an untimely end in the third turn at the 2001 Daytona 500 race on the very last lap of that race. That fatal crash left a huge vacuum in all of racing. In fact, if you look closely, you'll still see decals memorializing Dale Earnhardt's life in the back windows of lots of pickup trucks, especially here in the southeast.

The documentary was a fascinating and nostalgic walk through Dale's life as a young boy growing up in a poor Carolina household with his idol/father, Ralph, who was also a race car driver. It then followed his racing career on and off the track until his untimely death at age 49. He was a fascinating and revered person both on and off the track. He definitely left a very large, public legacy.

My wife's brush with a heart crisis, along with these two documentaries, got me thinking last week about my legacy and what impact my life will have made when I'm gone. A few years ago, I wrote, along with several other goals, what I would like left on my marker to summarize my legacy: "He loved God by serving and encouraging his family and many others". Striving toward that legacy is what sets my daily agenda.

So, here's the question of the day: What will YOUR legacy be? And, do you have any work to do to make it a reality?

Thanks for reading All About Seniors.....see you next week.

Bill Milby, CSA, is a Certified Senior Advisor and a Director of Visiting Angels® of Macon, an essential personal, living assistance service for seniors.  If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at william.mercylink@gmail.com or  search for  us at www.facebook.com/VisitingAngelsofCentralGA/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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