Category Archives: legacy

In Honor of Grandsons – 2

It’s been way too long.

I’ve been writing short stories lately – two for an anthology by the Houston chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers. That was a contest, and my two stories were finalists and chosen to be published in the anthology. That should come out in February, 2016.

I also wrote two short stories (and a third on the way) for an anthology by Jodie Renner, to raise money to help rescue children from child labor in Asia.

And then I’ve written two short stories for grandchildren. I’m finding that to be one of the most rewarding of writing experiences. One was written before the last post for Brooklyn. And the other I just finished and delivered within the past week, for Ethan, the newest addition to the grandchildren.

Ethan is the first child of our second son, Brad, and his wife, Jaymie. We visited them earlier this week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ethan is a handsome little man. He has dark hair, like his mom, and lots of it. While we were there he spent most of his time eating and sleeping. And he likes to be held. So our special time was holding him while he slept. Such a sweetie. He’s only about 4 weeks old, so we are excited to see how he will interact with us when he is older.

We have one other grandson, Leighton. And he just turned three. In fact, Leighton’s and Ethan’s birthdays are 12 days apart. I’ve written about Leighton in a previous post. And he’s changing quickly with each month. Now wearing glasses, he looks like a little professor. When he was younger, he was so quiet. Now he talks constantly. Wow, he’s changing.

So why do granddads get so excited about grandsons?

I came up with the following reasons:

  1. We see them as the future of our family.
  2. They give us hope that we can start them off in the right direction.
  3. We want to help them avoid the mistakes we made.
  4. We want to avoid the mistakes of grandparenting that we made with parenting.
  5. We can enjoy being with them instead of worrying like a new parent.
  6. We see in them a legacy for the future.
  7. We hope that they can achieve that which we failed to achieve.
  8. They make what we worked for, saved, and built worthwhile. Now we can share it with them.
  9. When they’re young, we get to enjoy the age of innocence all over again.
  10. They remind us of when our children were young.
  11. They will actually listen to us, and hopefully learn from us.
  12. They’re not judgmental.
  13. They’re excited about spending time with us.
  14. And yes…we get to spoil them and send them home.

They are a hope for the future. Enjoy them while you can.

Take a Break

It’s been too long. I’ve been taking a break. My excuse: It’s been the Christmas – New Years break. I didn’t actually have any time off in the office, other than December 25th and January 1st. But it’s time to take a break anyway.

We all need a change of pace occasionally, time to get off the squirrel cage, time to slow down, time to recharge the battery.

With New Years Day comes talk of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t make those anymore. They all get broken. But my wife and I have agreed to set aside time during an upcoming vacation to discuss where we are and where we want to go – a time to reflect.

January should be a time for life planning. We get so caught up in the urgent that we neglect the important. We forget what plans we had already made. It’s time to reflect and start over.

Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What direction do we seem to be heading? Is that what we want? Where do we think God wants us to be? Are we working to achieving that goal? Is it time to “repurpose” our life?

This isn’t original with me, but I highly recommend the following:

  1. Set aside a time for this purpose.
  2. Get away from your normal setting.
  3. Do this with your life partner, if you have one. What a great time for a brainstorming date.
  4. Prepare yourself by reading or rereading books that have inspired you in the past. Find new ones that will help you plan for the future.
  5. Write down your decisions – achievable goals, plans, a path to get there.
  6. Put your written plan someplace you will see it everyday.
  7. Review it regularly and make changes as appropriate.

Now get out there and take control of where you are and where you’re going. And let us know about what you’ve changed, what successes you’ve had.

Leaving a Legacy


Part of our plexus is our legacy. Or it can be. Are you creating one? Are you leaving one?

First of all, what is a legacy? The dictionary defines legacy in two areas: a gift that is left for someone after death of the donor (such as by a will), or something that is transmitted to the future for the benefit of the recipient (as in teachings, reputation, example, etc.).

So first of all we need to ask whether we want to leave a legacy. Or have we already created one? What is it, or what do we want it to be? Will it be for the good of our descendents (family), or will it be for everyone? Do you want to be remembered by your family for something you did or contributed? You are leaving a legacy. We may be remembered for something that was not of our choosing. Do you want to pick what your legacy will be? It’s really something worth thinking about.

Part of my plexus is writing. I mentioned in my bio that editing my father’s autobiography stirred an interest in me for writing. It made me think about what my father had done, before I knew him. It helped me get to know who he really was. I realized that I wanted to leave a legacy that will help my children (and grandchildren) be able to look back someday and understand what was important to me, what I stood for, what I hoped to pass on to them. Somehow those discussions just never come up easily. And sometimes discussing them comes across as preaching. So rather than create tension it is easier to avoid them.

I’ve noticed in my medical practice that patients read fiction (vs. nonfiction) by a large margin. Fiction entertains, but yet has the capacity to influence and inspire through its underlying themes and message. Fiction can be powerful in changing people’s lives. I realized it could be a useful tool to leave a legacy.

My father’s legacy includes his love of scripture and his faith in God. His favorite quotation was always Proverbs 3: 5,6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” He continued to quote those verses deep into his dementia. He doesn’t volunteer them anymore, but he lights up and says them along with someone else who is quoting them. Those words were the theme of his autobiography and how he lived his life. Those verses became the heart of his legacy.

My first novel, MARK OF THE FIRE, is dedicated to my father. I’ve used Proverbs 3: 5,6 as the theme, as a tribute to my father. Trusting God for direction leads to forgiveness and healing.

So what is your legacy? What do you want it to be? Are you working to make that aspect of your life part of your plexus? Tell us about it?