Leave Proof You Existed

Janis Cohen leave a legacy

“Everything is Everything.”
~The Tao of Wu

“I want to be remembered for something, anything.  I just want to be remembered.”, she said.

“What do you want to be remembered for?”, I asked.

“At least that I was here.  That I existed.  That I mattered.  That I made a difference. That I was worth something.” she said with melancholy.

“What would that look like?”, I asked.

Her head turned towards the window and as she watched the trees she shared her stream of consciousness.

“That someone smiled when they thought of me.  When my name was uttered, it would be because of a fond memory or the way that I made them feel good or loved.   How my presence filled a room…just my presence.  My essence. My passion. My sensuality.  My intellect.  My sweetness.  My big heart.  My excitement. My quick retorts.  My love for them.”

“That others would pay homage to my desperate attempts to be more than normal; to stand out and be heard.  That others, anyone really, would remember how much my eyes told about me when I looked into theirs. That my pain was hard felt and the glory was hard-earned.  That I pushed back and fought to thrive even when I was down in the depths of emotional hell.   That they not only noticed but acknowledged that I tried to be a better person than I was the day before.  That I needed love. ”

“That what looked like my mistakes, poor decision-making and poor judgements weren’t indicators of my failure as a person; they were all part of me; each and every one of them….they weren’t mistakes at all.  They were my building blocks, my stilts,….my lessons. NOT mistakes.  That I wasn’t a f*ck up.  That I was acceptable, lovable, worthy, bigger than my errors.  That I was,… am, in my own unique way, made in the image of something good.”

“Wow…….. It sounds like you have thought about this quite a bit.”, I responded.

“Yes.  I have. My mind is busy… all the time- so busy.”, she said as her gaze floated back into the room from staring out of the window.

“What now?”, I asked.

Folding her tear-stained tissue neatly on her lap she said,  “I guess I’ll do what I do every day; wake up, thank my G-d that I have another day and then try again to be someone special; someone who makes a difference. Someone who I’m proud of.  Isn’t that enough?”

“Yes it is.”, I said quietly; taking that into my heart.

This story is a true account of someone I know dearly.  I respect her.  I admire her.  I honor her.

Her commentary is connected to all of us.

If you are reading this, then I am certain that you want to be remembered for something unique and special.

You want to be remembered for being a wonderful mother or father, a great doctor, a loyal friend and loving sibling or partner. A creator. An adviser. A student. An innovator. A storyteller. A muse.

Someone who made a difference in just one person’s life.

Someone who stands out, even if you prefer to live anonymously.

Someone who stood for something, who struggled for something, and who helped someone struggle just a little less.

Someone who witnessed another person’s life and someone who was witnessed in life.

We all want to leave evidence that we were here; that our stay on this earthly plane stood for something and fulfilled some larger purpose; even if we never understand what that purpose is.

I’ll tell you a secret.  Without even knowing it, you have left evidence that you exist.

Your life has been documented, noticed, felt, and honored.

I know this because the world wouldn’t be the same had you not been here.

In love and light,








One response

  1. What a beautiful description of what most if not all of us question, hope for, and strive for. Wow, this would make a perfect high holiday service sermon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s