A Legacy of Humor, Joy, and Love

Sep 7, 2023

Reflecting on a legacy left behind

I spoke with a family member recently, reminiscing about my dad. It’s been 8 years since he passed away. It is  so hard to believe it has been that long. I re-read his eulogy and while the tears fell, I noticed I also felt immense gratitude and found myself literally giggling out loud. It got me thinking about his legacy. Not what he physically left behind but who he truly was in life, who he impacted and the parts of him that are living on.

See my dad well, he was FUNNY

He was the master of one liners, could tell a story like a pro and often left us all either shaking our heads or with tears of laughter running down our faces. He loved to sit down over cocktails or coffee later and have a good long chat. And by long, I mean hours.  He invested time in his people.  You could see it in his eyes when he was about to crack a joke.  His words still make me laugh.  Humor is his Legacy.

He loved so deeply and so unconditionally

If he loved you, you knew it. He had zero room for drama, his boundaries were solid and if you loved him conditionally, he knew it. I will never forget his last words to me. He was home on hospice and the end was very near. I was sitting by his bedside, holding his hand. His eyes were closed and he wasn’t speaking much at this point but that day he squeezed my hand and whispered “I Love you”. He never spoke another word to me. I knew he was saying goodbye for now and I knew the best way he knew how was to leave with words of love.  Love is his Legacy.

He found pure joy in the little things

I have never known anyone else who enjoyed a trip to the dump so much!  What I came to realize is he enjoyed riding along on a trip to the dump, he never actually got out of the truck. He simply found joy in the opportunity to spend time together. A trip to Costco was a delight because he made it into a fun day out. He could get so involved in a television show it turned into an event, costumes and all…have you ever seen Dog the Bounty Hunter?…I will leave it at that.  Joy is his Legacy.

There are parts of all of us that are our truest selves

These are the things that make us who we are. That make an impact to those around us. Those parts are our legacies that will live on in the people that had the opportunity to really know us.  We have a chance to lean into those parts of ourselves.  To show up as our truest versions.  To leave behind a legacy that reaches far beyond the physical.
Even after so many years without my dad I know his legacy of Humor, Joy and Love live on. I see them every single day . In me. In my daughter. In my husband. In my home. That is impact. That is what a legacy is all about.

Let me end with a little story about my dad.

How he showed up and loved me and one that made us laugh for decades and continues to.  Friends it is one of MANY.  I hope it makes you laugh.

When I was in middle school I wanted to ride the bus, the bus stop was a block up and around the corner from my home. We lived in the city, on a busy street and I was the only kid at the bus stop. I simply could not have my dad wait at the bus stop with me, I mean can you even imagine the embarrassment?!
So my dad would walk me half way and hid behind a tree, so as not to embarrass me of course, and wait until I was safely on the bus then he would turn around and walk back home. Easy right?

This worked well until…one day I stepped onto the bus and immediately a car pulled up, a very concerned woman got out to alert my bus driver of a man lurking behind a tree watching the girl who just got on the bus. Did I mention the bus pick up was early and my dad always wore his pajamas while hiding behind the tree? My dad of course saw this woman stop the bus and was concerned. He left his hiding place just as EVERYONE on the bus turned to spy this creepy man.

No worries everyone that man lurking behind that tree is just my dad. Rest assured that wasn’t the only time my well intentioned innocent dad who loved me more than anything and showed up the best way he could for me was turned in as a creepy guy, lurking in the bushes or behind a tree. So much for that lack of middle school girl embarrassment!

Dad, I am honored to be your daughter.

I am honored to carry on your real legacy of Humor, Love and Joy with a whole lot of laughter along the way!

Until next time friends. I cherish you and I am celebrating you!

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Melissa Garcia is the founder of Roots to Wings Collective, a 300-hour certified yoga teacher, and an eternal optimist. Melissa holds space for connection, creativity, and celebration, through movement, meditation, energy work, and intentional rituals. She believes in magic and that there is no such thing as too much glitter!

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