The ideas that go through my head every month for a blog seem to be never-ending. Then typically, something happens, and I just know this will be my blog that I post for the month. So last night, as I was going to bed, I read a message from a classmate of Justice's; it was beautiful and brought me to tears. It also made me think about life, death, and the legacy we leave.
"I debated for the last year if I wanted to share this or not because I was not as close to Justice as I used to be. But growing up in the same class as her, I can truly say that I was honored to know her. I got this tattoo as a reminder to myself to be more like her every day. It didn't matter if you were the most popular person in school or the quiet kid in the back that no one knew; Justice would have said hello and treated that person like her best friend. She made everyone in a room feel like an equal, and I strive to be as down-to-earth and open as she was. She never judged a person and treated everyone with such kindness! At a hard time in my life, Justice was there for me in a quiet way that I will always be grateful for. She didn't need to plaster it all over, but she was there for me, doing sweet and nice things, not expecting anything in return! She is truly missed." From Ariana
After reading this, the pride I felt for my daughter was immeasurable. I always knew the daughter I was raising looked at the world with the most amazing eyes and heart. It makes me so happy that the people around Justice also saw or felt her compassion and love. I always knew Justice would change the world; after she died, I thought all of my dreams for her were over. As I sit here typing my story, I am realizing, Justice's love for people and animals will continue to live on and change people forever.
This last year, I have thought of life and death so much; this message about Justice made me dig even deeper into the lives we live. When we are gone, how do we want to be remembered? What legacy do we want to leave?
Before Justice died, I thought of a person's legacy, and money always came to mind. A legacy is how people remember you; it doesn't have to be about how much money you gave to charities, although that is a great legacy to leave. It can also be the way you choose to live your life and treat others. Justice didn't have much money to leave for her legacy, but she did leave a legacy of compassion and kindness.
Justice's legacy will live on through the way she made people feel. Justice chose to go the extra mile to extend compassion to others. Love Like Justice would have never happened if Justice didn't choose to live a life of kindness and grace while making an impact on people's lives.
People can live 100 years and not make a difference in people's lives like Justice did in her short 18 years. Justice was nowhere close to perfect, but she was real. She was kind, and her heart was bigger than her life on earth.
So my question to you is, what type of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered, and how are you going to make it happen? Tomorrow is not a guarantee, so get busy leaving your mark on this world and remember to Love Like Justice.
Beautifully written and articulated. It makes me want to hug my girl a little bit tighter and hope that she can Love Like Justice and that even I can still believe in the healing power of kindness and compassion. Bless you Angie for your empowering words and brave spirit and your unwavering love and devotion to your amazing daughter. May God bless you and keep you…
Compassion and Kindness are Priceless. I can only pray that if I ever must leave this life that is what I leave behind
~ Big Love Angie