Mon | Nov 18, 2019

Make your footprints last

Published:Monday | October 14, 2019 | 12:16 AM

I W as hanging out one day this week (who knew I actually had time to do that?) when someone was playing a Michael Jackson playlist through their speakers.

When a particular song, Beat It, was in full flight, I noticed schoolboys walking past where I was standing.

They were all dancing to the song, but two of them specifically brought out the high leg kick, one of the many moves that Michael made famous.

Now, these boys couldn’t have been more than 14 years old. I know the age of children can be hard to judge these days because they either look too young for school or too old.

But based on the uniform (they wore a tie of a certain purple hue), I know they were teenagers.

It dawned on me that Michael died a few years ago; after some Googling I found that it was in 2009.

So assuming these boys were 14 (I really think they were younger), it means they didn’t really ‘know’ who Michael was when he died.

And yet, 10 years later, here they were dancing to his music, using his moves, on their way home from school. Now, that’s legacy right there.

WHAT ARE WE LEAVING BEHIND?

It got me thinking about what any of us are leaving behind when we leave this Earth.

Some of us don’t live long enough to make an impression, while there are some people whose footprint will not be washed out any time soon.

I won’t start calling names because people are always going to criticise the list, suggesting who I should have put in and who should have been left out.

Maybe it’s because we’re in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but my thoughts also went to my Aunt Madge who lost her fight to cancer, albeit not of the breast.

Her kindness, love and ability to keep the family and her wider community together will never be forgotten.

I think of her every now and then, and wonder what she would think of us, her nephews, nieces, grandkids. Would she rap me over the knuckles for any of my columns? Maybe.

I regret not visiting her more when she was ill in the final stages. But that’s my burden to carry.

I also thought about the women I know who are fighting breast cancer right now, both those in the limelight and those fighting in private.

In that moment, I moved from seeing boys do their best Michael impersonation to wondering if life is really as bad as I thought it was mere seconds before.

Then I wondered what I’ve done to merit being remembered. I try to give people something to read on a Monday, but is that it?

The world looks a whole lot bigger when you look at it from that perspective.

A friend of mine once answered a question in his Instagram story about why he’s involved in so many things.

I don’t remember it word for word but I remember part of it was “because I’m only here for a short time”.

So what have you done that’s worth remembering?

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com