leg·a·cy (noun): a summary of who we are, left as a gift for the world

He arrived every morning at 7:30, shirt neatly pressed, perfectly curled handlebar mustache framing a soft, welcoming grin. When he asked, “how are you doing?”… and my answer was “fine”,… he would always respond, “tell me more”. He worked tirelessly. If you were lucky enough to help him with a project… he’d explain the problem, ask for ideas, then encourage effort and praise good work. He often joined me and my friends at our lunch table, chuckling at our 5th grade burp & fart humor. Sometimes he’d share stories if we asked, but he mostly just sat quietly and listened. Above all, rather than treating us as kids who made his job tougher, he always took time to stop and see us for who we could become…. and helped us see the same.

jan·i·tor (noun): caretaker (of far more than buildings). gift-giver. Mr. Williams.

We can get stuck thinking about how we can make a difference… finding our purpose…   Or, we can begin doing… living every moment with purpose, connecting with others, and letting our legacy find us.  

So… what will be the sum of moments that define you?  And, when will you begin?

you (noun): ______________________.

P.S.  On pizza or taco days, Mr. Williams would sneak a small bottle of Tabasco sauce from the kitchen… and we got to share… as long as the lunch ladies didn’t find out.  

2 thoughts on “leg·a·cy

  1. Good read. I often wonder when I read these type of stories if that person knew their impact. Did you get a chance to go back and share that with him? Having asked that so many times, I try to reach out to those who have impacted my journey. Maybe they won’t think much of it, but maybe its just what they needed to hear. In any case, you should know that there is only one voice mail in my phone that I have never erased. It is a vmail from you on 7/12/19. It is 1:39 in length. I listen to it every now and then. It resets me on very negative days at work. It is motivating. Just seeing it on my phone every time I go in there and delete stuff because my vmail is full is encouraging. Thanks for that and know you too had an impact.


    1. Honestly, I was unaware of his impact until it was too late to reconnect. I just tell myself that Mr. Williams was the type that gained energy from connecting whether others acknowledged him or not. Like you, I’m trying to be more self aware every day… and share my gratitude directly.

      As for being a voicemail you’ve kept… I’m honored and humbled that I found the right words to express your awesomeness in a way that you find worthy of holding on to….

      Hope you are well.


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