All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.”—Jim Rohn

I returned home yesterday from an experience, which I can only describe as “bittersweet.” Two weeks ago, my mother-in-law passed away at 93+ years. There would be no such thing as a “mother-in-law” joke if Amy Marcangelo had been every man’s maternal connection via his wife. Amy was a quiet, caring woman who was the true bedrock and backbone of her family.

Amy was also a diehard Detroit Tiger fan and, in celebration, of her life, her children and grandchildren celebrated at a baseball game rather than in a funeral parlor. She would have definitely approved. A sweet and kind soul, Amy reserved her few negative moments for exasperated words about Tiger relief pitchers. As a fitting denouement to her life, the Detroit reliever coughed up two gopher balls in the 11th inning. I can see Amy nodding in frustration and resignation somewhere in the Great Beyond.

But today’s newsletter is about the living. As part of our excursion into Detroit and the game last Monday, we all wore Tiger caps with the embroidered message, Amy’s Legacy Lineup, across the back. One of Amy’s granddaughters suggested the tribute. It has been said that no one ever utters the following with their last deathbed words, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” On her deathbed and in her final moments, Amy was surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Days earlier, she had enjoyed a final visit from her great grandchildren. If there is any comfort at one’s passing, I believe that Amy Bartkowiak Marcangelo had experienced it.

And she had earned it.

By now, my readers have deduced the point of today’s missive. What will our legacy be? Will our passing be marked by tears of loss and gratitude, or something less? It’s time to work on our legacy. It’s not too late. Skip the game on TV, catch up on the soap opera or paperback later, and connect with someone to build your legacy.

The office will still be there tomorrow.

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” —Shannon L. Alder