Leaving a People Trail: A Guest Blog Post by Crystal Summers

A dear friend of mine, Crystal, has a high school football coach for a father.  On the afternoon of November 28th, her father was in a car accident that left him with multiple internal injuries, a fractured pelvis, and fractured ribs.  As I followed Crystal’s updates from the Intensive Care Unit and prayed for her family, I discovered her on-line journal entry that defined for me another way to live with flair.  With Crystal’s permission, I reprinted her “Lesson from ICU.”

Legacies with Legs

Wherever a football coach goes, he leaves a paper trail: wins and losses, 0-fers or championships–the numbers tell the story of a season.  Sometimes the paper trail makes him a hero, and sometimes it runs him out of town.  When others measure the quality of a football coach, his wins and losses lead the way. 

Over the past 6 weeks, we have had the privilege of seeing not the paper trail, but the people trail that my dad has left behind in 30 years of coaching.  Men and women that he has known and cared for at every stage of his career have called, visited, and left messages for my dad.  This is not the legacy that will be printed in the paper.  This is not the legacy that prompts a promotion.  But this is the only legacy that reaches beyond his lifetime.  This is the legacy that lasts.

Now don’t get me wrong, when the final buzzer sounds, my dad wants to win the game.  But the way he plays, he already has.

His legacies have legs.

Journal:  When I think of my own legacy, do I think of leaving a people trail?

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  1. I'm thinking of two remarkable women whom I knew – one was a teacher in elementary school and the other took me in as a boarder one summer in my university days. They are both gone now, but I remember them often because a lot of little things remind me of them. They both made a lasting and positive impact on me.

    I don't really think about such a thing as “my legacy” but I try to live by my most important value of being kind to others – which is one thing that the two women in my past demonstrated over and over to me. This is a good prompt to think about what is important to me and to strive harder to reach it.

  2. Roberta, I cannot tell you how much the ICU staff meant to us. They mean even more now that I know that my dad does not remember them. Those men and women work tirelessly to save lives who may not remember who they are. Thank you for pointing out that part of the journey.