As part of the magazine’s annual THE LIVES THEY LIVED issue, we invited readers to contribute a photograph and a story of someone close to them who died this year.
Life is funny that way, you know?
The way it laughs at your plans.
Taunts you with destiny.
Even mocks you.
Enough time goes by, though, and your perspective changes.
You begin to see life for what it truly is.
A beautiful journey with no real destination.
A series of moments strung together.
The majority of which go missing.
What you truly end up with is a bucket full of wisdom.
A presence with yourself that’s exhilarating.
Because it brings you right to the stage.
Like a magician with only one trick.
A pocket full of coins.
A bag of riches.
The kind of wealth you can only pass on while you’re still here.
Preserving your legacy and inspiring the groundwork of others.
Handing those coins out one by one.
Until they’re gone.
Until you’re gone.
Then your legacy lives on for as long as it can.
Inspiring people you never knew.
Inspiring your love.
About five years ago, I finally read a book my Mom had given me a few years before. “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.” Written by John Krakauer.
The story is a tough one to consume. Not easy to accept. Even harder to imagine for those much closer to him. The article below is one from 2014, and documents the success of the foundation his wife began to honor his legacy. She has performed amazing work since his death.
Pat Tillman’s decision to leave the NFL and serve his country was a powerful one. That it ultimately ended his life in such a tragic way is unfortunate. In spite of this, however, his dedication to his country, and to the service necessary to preserve its legacy is humbling, and helps keep me centered on what is truly important in our own lives.
In the years since Tillman died, controversy has been a prominent part of the conversation. Specifically, the details of his death sparked many questions, which engendered strong criticism from Tillman’s parents about the way the Army handled the days and months that followed.After the September 11th terrorist attacks, Pat Tillman left the NFL to become an Army Ranger. (Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions/Associated Press)Tillman, an Army Ranger who was part of a patrol charged with hunting down Taliban and al-Qaida targets near Pakistan, was originally depicted by the Army as a soldier killed by enemy fire. The Army did not disclose until a month later that friendly fire took Tillman’s life, causing many to question whether the Army was trying to use Tillman’s death as part of a publicity campaign.The way Tillman died remains controversial. The way he lived, however, remains a testament to powerful courage — specifically regarding his conviction about entering into service.
Celebrate Presidents day with a tribute to your personal legacy. This is a great way to honor the great men who have come before you and cleared the path. Make the most of your opportunity.
How to celebrate YOUR Legacy this President’s Day
John Ashworth is a salesperson and video personality for Frazer Consultants.
This video is for entertainment purposes only.