leaving a legacy
leaving a legacy

For the past month, I've been spending time with my parents-in-law (above), who came down for a visit from Singapore. We did a road trip to Banff and explored more of Vancouver and its surroundings, like Steveston, a sleepy fishing town in Richmond.

A part of me felt like my productivity was at an all-time low this month. I did manage to complete a few freelance assignments, but I didn't have time to work on an outstanding interview for this blog, or produce other stories for it. (I guess that's how I know I still enjoy writing so much, especially since I'm not getting paid for anything I write here ha!)

Another part of me recognised the value in spending time with family. We cooked countless meals together, ate together, travelled together, and even prayed together. And while I had to put certain things on hold during this time, there were more precious things God had in store for me.

In my 2018 "life goals" entry, I spoke about wanting to serve more actively. And this month, I had so many opportunities to serve my parents-in-law.

Pre-Vancouver, I barely knew how to cook. Here, I spent time in the kitchen pretty regularly (although there was a fried chicken recipe that sadly got the better of me). During our road trip, I was designated "tour guide" and mapped out each day's itinerary for us. It wasn't a chore; it was something I relished doing everyday.

But learning to serve - and serving joyfully - aren't the only things that strike me as I reflect on our time together.

Truthfully speaking, growing old scares and intrigues me. What happens when I lose my ability to write, or speak, or think for myself? What will I be remembered for?

My in-laws are in the last third of their lives; I'm about one-third of the way through mine. And spending time with them has given me glimpses of what it means to grow old well.

You see, they are probably some of the most prayerful people I know. So much so that they were the ones who initiated a prayer session with us, which we did on their last day here. And it was this shared time of communing with God that, I think, brought a whole new dimension to our interactions and allowed us to go beyond polite niceties and conversation fillers.

Through their prayers for us and also the way they've prioritised prayer in their personal lives, I see more clearly how to lead a life that is pleasing unto Him, even in my silver years.

I see that leaving a legacy is about finishing well. It's not about trumpeting our accolades and achievements gathered over the years, but about making the most out of whatever amount of time we have left on earth.

I see that leaving a legacy behind doesn't involve any form of grandiosity or material bounty, but surrendered hearts that seek to do His will above ours.

I see the legacy they're leaving in their son, the man I am married to: A man who cares deeply for his spiritual children, and has been a friend to many in their times of need.

I like what Singapore-based minister Tan Soo-Inn affirms about ageing:

What happens, then, when people are no longer able to think clearly or to think at all? What happens when people are no longer independent but need constant care even with day-to-day needs? What happens when they are no longer able to produce and contribute their strengths, like writing and speaking? Are they still valuable? Will they still be loved?

Followers of Christ must answer with a resounding yes. People have value because they are made in the image of God. Period. Hence our brothers and sisters who are ageing and have diminishing powers continue to teach us, maybe not about their preferred subjects but about the value of life.

To teach others about the value of life - that it is worth living even as sight is dimmed, steps grow slower and breath grows shorter - is one of the most precious lessons we can ever give. So this is a little thank you to my in-laws for doing just that. May your legacy of love, truth and acceptance continue to live through me.