August 11. “The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!” (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
It is highly unlikely that my name will ever appear in a history book studied by the students of the future. I don’t hold a station in life that would warrant that kind of inclusion. My history will be written on the memories of my descendants. It is an interesting thing to ponder to wonder how far into the future I will be remembered. A hundred years from now will I be anything but a footnote in someone’s genealogy? Will I just be referred to as Grandpa Bob, or will my story be known? Who is to say? And really, that isn’t what’s on my mind as I reflect on this quote.
What is on my mind is how my history is being written every day by the choices I make. Where I find myself and what I am doing while I am here is a product of my own choices. Eisenhower didn’t just wake up one day leading men into battle in Europe. He got there through a lifetime of choices on how to conduct himself as a soldier and as a leader.
It’s the same for me. I may not be the supreme commander of the Allied Forces, but I have a station in life that is the result of every choice I have made up to now. And, what happens next for me will also be a product of my choices.
I have said before on this blog that my life’s ambition from the time I was a child, was to be a father and husband. While others dreamed of being fire fighters, astronauts, or sports heroes, my dream was to be a loving husband and a good father. All of my choices in life have ultimately revolved around that vocation. My college choices, my career choices, my volunteer choices, and my relationship choices all have happened with that in mind. That’s not to say that I made every choice correctly, or that I never made mistakes. I have and do screw up, just like everyone else. But even in those times, the thing that has always brought me back to center has been living out the vocation of husband/father.
My children are adults now, and in the coming years they will be getting married and starting families of their own. I will always be husband and father, and I will have the opportunity to add a new slash – /grandfather. That new slash gives me the chance to write my history on the memories of another generation.
I didn’t get here by chance, and it will not be chance that takes me through the rest of my years. It will be sum total of my choices to date, and my choices to come.
Today my reflection is on how my history will be remembered.