Cardinal Goodness – Leaving Your Own Unique Legacy

Posted by Sooz on Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 10 Comments

Today’s guest writer is a friend of Goodness. Her name is Debbie. She has supported us from the beginning because she knows the power of Goodness to change a life. Here is one small example from her own life…

So maybe it’s a sign I’m getting old, or maybe it’s a sign I’m longing for simplicity… regardless, I’ve taken up a new hobby – bird watching. We’re talking “big time” bird watching – high-tech feeders, species-specific birdseed choices, the real deal. My favorites: Carolina Chickadees and Cardinals. The former are just cute, and the latter remind me of Dorothy, a dear lady who could have been the quintessential ambassador of The Society for the Preservation of Goodness.

When my kids were young they loved to visit Dorothy. Her house was one of those places where a five-year-old, a ten-year-old, heck…a forty-year-old could just sit and take in the quirkiness of the decor – cardinal decals on the mailbox, a cardinal mobile hanging above the old pump-organ in the living room, cardinal magnets on the fridge. Those beautiful redbirds were everywhere! More than the intrigue of her house, what drew me to Dorothy was her home – a place we could sit and chat, or just sit and “be.” Silences weren’t awkward; they were calming.

Dorothy was a crafter. Nothing went to waste; everything was recycled and re-purposed. In Dorothy’s hands, outdated Reader’s Digests became decoupaged lamp bases. Popsicle sticks and seashells became whirly-gig lawn ornaments or birdhouses. And yes, old-timey work socks became delightful sock monkeys.

But more than being crafty with the stuff junk drawers are made of – Dorothy was crafty with the junk that life threw at her. Dorothy had her share of tragedy and because some of that tragedy translated into a debilitating stroke, Dorothy had to do some serious re-purposing.  As a result of her stroke, Dorothy lost the use of her right (dominant) arm.  But true to her goodness factor, Dorothy still found ways to help others.

Slowly and methodically, Dorothy would craft lap robes for nursing home patients, all while understanding that it was probably just a mater of time before she would become one of those patients herself.  Her husband had always remarked that he didn’t quite see the sense in the whole  “quilting thing” – why go to the trouble of cutting up pieces of fabric just to sew them together again? To him, this was the ultimate exercise in futility.  But Dorothy found purpose in knowing that even in her disability there was something she could do to pass on a little kindness to others. Granted, the seams were a little “wonky” (professional quilter’s term), but they held the lap robes together – just like Dorothy’s determination and resourcefulness held goodness together.

Those cardinals at my feeder are beautiful, not just for their red plumage. They are a colorful reminder that Dorothy left me a legacy of goodness. My job? Carry on the legacy.

A “Good” Idea:

Can you think of someone in your life who has imparted goodness and left you with a legacy to remember them by? Encourage us by paying tribute to them with a brief comment below…

10 Responses

  1. Meg Rehnborg says:

    The Society is an amazing legacy to have! You all are wonderful:)
    Much love,

    • Sooz says:

      Meg -
      You are precious! Come along with us and we will all make a lasting legacy together as The Society. All Goodness to you as you go to China. You will have to tell us all about it when you return!!

  2. drills says:

    I typically don’t submit in Blogs but your weblog forced me to, amazing function.. beautiful

  3. traci bailey says:

    my best friend’s mom fought lymphoma for five years before she died. she had more beauty and grace than most women i’ve ever met in my lifetime. her last words to me were “you are so precious.” i will never forget her, nor those four words as long as i live. when i get down on myself, i remind myself of her and her words of encouragement and i try to live by her legacy of goodness.

  4. Sharyn Auzinger says:

    My Aunt Em was the embodiment of goodness. :) She was oh, so sweet and kind and gentle and loving. She helped to mold me into the person I am today. She was that unconditional love in my life — I can still hear her voice in my head, “I love you honey.” I can see her in my mind’s eye, applauding me from the back of the ballet studio, my 5-year-old self in a pink tutu. The most amazing part of our relationship was that for about 17 years we didn’t see one another and our entire relationship was in the form of letters. One of my best lessons from her was to never underestimate the impact you can have on another.

  5. Sooz says:

    Sharyn, as you know, I was a recipient of that amazing love from your aunt as well. It was one of the most influential forces in my life. To love and enjoy without having to judge – that was the thing she taught me. Thank you for honoring Aunt Emmie.

  6. Riley says:

    Thanks for the post I actually learned something from it. Very good content on this site Always looking forward to new post.

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