Leaving a legacy

My sister and I attended a memorial on Sunday for a wonderful Iowa State journalism professor, advisor, mentor and friend. Barbara Mack died suddenly a couple of weeks ago in her home. She was my mother’s age.

At the memorial, friends told stories of how she inspired them. Made them better people and professionals. Someone read “The Dash” poem. Her husband asked the audience if Barbara ever hugged us. Most raised their hands. He also asked if any of us got an email from her that ended “Hugs, Barbara.” Again, most raised their hands. He went on to remark about his wife and said he regretted not hugging her one last time. He also encouraged us all to make sure we continue to hug the ones we love.

Besides the memorial, you could tell she was loved by many. Students, alumni, friends and family left numerous comments on her Facebook page. The Iowa State Daily and the Ames Tribune covered it, along with local TV stations. Even the first Iowa State home game had a moment of silence for her.

I’m thinking about what legacy I’d like to leave. My daughter is turning eight months old next week, so I’d like to know that her mom is compassionate, a role model, a good listener, responsible, gracious, encouraging, loving, joyful, hard-working, Earth and people-respecter, and fun. I want our home to be a comfortable place for her to grow and learn. I want her to share the same values Jonathan and I have…and then pass them along to her children.



As “The Dash” poem reads, “So, when your eulogy’s being read with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you spend your dash?”