“My dad is a VERY important guy” I overheard my son say to his friend. Red flags flew and I started to kick into MMM ( Manic Mother Mode) right away. I was just about to interrupt with a lecture when he continued, “He is a volunteer door opener at my school. My dad is a helper.”
I've never been prouder of the son, or the dad than at that moment. Along with being a pastor, college instructor (on hiatus), board member of an orphanage, a college and an international organization he does in fact volunteer twice a week at the school opening doors for parents in the drive through lane.
We live where there is ice and snow roughly 11 months out of the year, or so it feels, and he braves the below 0 weather so the parents and little kids do not have to. In my sons eyes, that makes him important. Its not his dads degrees, positions, IQ or awards that impress him. Those things testify to his fathers’ intellect, skill and hard work. What impresses his son is the one that shows his dads heart. Dad the door opener.
I suppose that is how we all want to be remembered by our children. Not for the things we accumulate, the trophies we shelve or the money we store up. In the end we want to be remembered for selfless acts of generosity. We want to be remembered standing in the rain with the umbrella, helping little children into the school house dry and warm. We want to be remembered as the one who shoveled the snow for a weakened neighbor, the one who took meals to the sick, who comforted the mourner, who shared with the needy.
In our frantic search for significance we really do not have to look very far. Fame and glory fade quickly. Genuine concern and unselfish gifts never do. I think it would be a beautiful epitaph. One I'd like to have. Dad was a door opener. Mom was a helper. You just can’t get more important than that.