Remember me for…

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
A habit that Ted taught me during our marriage was walking through old cemeteries and reading the epithets and various sayings as well as the birth and death dates. Developing this habit led me to several good articles. One I remember vividly was the discovery of a very old cemetery in Beaumont where some Buffalo soldiers had been buried. Our newspaper led a campaign to have the cemetery cleaned up, headstones righted, grass cut, and weed eating done so that the graves could be seen and cared for in the future. Distant family members were located and apprised of the situation. Several took an interest and the cemetery is more readily available to be seen now.

I asked the question of the members of one of the large groups of people that I founded on the Bolivar Peninsula, “What do you honestly want to be remembered for after you have died?”. I immediately received some interesting replies and as the days went by, I heard from more and more. Some were fairly normal and one or two were humorous. Two said they had never thought about the matter, but I wonder about that. I think everyone has at one time or another in their life wondered if they have achieved their goals, how they had treated others, and what good or bad traits would be attributed to their lives after they died.

One of my very best older friends, Marie Darr, wants simply to be remembered for her kindness to others. I have assured Marie that she will be because she practices that trait every day of her life to friends and strangers alike. Chris Hilderbrandt wishes to be remembered for integrity. Peggy O’Leary has built her career based on asset management, but she would prefer being remembered for her intense love of art and nature. Jeff Cunningham, third generation family business owner, of Cunningham Gas Products, wants to be remembered for being a good husband, father, Christian, and friend. He also added that he’s striving for awesome, but wants to be honest and genuine.

Lisa Parkhurst Haynes, RN and school nurse would like to be known for her kindness and compassion because there seems to be so much bad in the world. She wishes her students would always think of her in the context of “my school nurse was kind to me.” Alisa Lindsey thought about it and decided that she would like to be most remembered for helping people. Les Stewart adds some humor when he said when he is laying in his coffin, he would like for someone to say, “Look, he’s moving!” Frank Krise, retired from the US Army and having spent 17 years in the building maintenance and warehouse management business, would like for folks to think of him as someone who pointed others to salvation. Sandra Lucy Moses, another nurse, wishes to be thought of as kind and friendly.

Dana Tucker McGinnis retired from an accounting and finance career and is currently a very happy beachcomber. After having given the question some thought, Dana decided that she wanted most to be thought of as a loving mom, grandmother, and friend. She is well on her way. Mike Kimberling, owner of a plumbing company, chooses to be remembered as the kind of man that would bail a friend out of jail at 2:00 AM if needed. He also wants to be thought of as a loyal husband, good father, and awesome papa.

Mike Dunn, a master builder, and overall good guy, wants to be remembered for putting others first in life. Mike’s life demonstrates this character trait every day of his life. He has work going into 2019 lined up because his reputation precedes him.

The truth of the matter is that we choose each day how we will be remembered when we die. If Christians are truly Heaven bound, as we believe, why don’t we live like it every day while we are on our way? If you are one of the few that have never given thought to this matter, why not take a few minutes today of private time, think about the question, and make up your mind how you will live out the rest of your life.

Do we really want to be thought of as an alcoholic, dependent on the next drink, risking our lives and that of others for one more party, one more “good” time, or one more night on the town? Is our insecurity and need to be prominent so powerful that it overrules good sense? Do we feel the need to threaten others who have never done us harm? What is the use of moving to another city, starting over, fooling a group of people, and then continuing to live like we have in the past? Those legal records do not lie even if we do not believe them. Felonies, DWIs, and driving illegally are all serious things in my book. Our history and bad choices follow us and often linger long after we have gone.

Is our goal to be the town gossip? Do we sneak drugs or prescription meds into our homes and businesses hoping no one will know? Are other people’s mates more intriguing to us than an eligible man or woman? Are we “that” neighbor that cannot let well enough alone? Are thefts common place to us? Do lies come easier than truth? Are we helpful to other folks who can do us no good? Do we honestly love others as ourselves?

(We plan to continue these thoughts in another column because of the number of responses we have received thus far. If you would like to let me know what you would like to be remembered for in this life, send a quick note. Thank you for your participation).

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788, or


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One Response to “Remember me for…”

  1. Ginger Doster says:

    A loving Wife, Mother, Family Member and Friend

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