My Dad passed in 1998.
We weren’t close.
When I was 10 years old, he decided he didn’t want to be a dad anymore.
I used to wonder what kind of man would do such a thing. But when I learned more about him and his abusive, loveless upbringing, I understood.
Back when I knew him, he worked hard. Seven days a week. He did well. We did well.
I honestly have no idea what his post-fatherhood life looked like. Maybe he cut back and took more days off since he didn’t have any mouths to feed.
I’ll never know.
What I do know is that after he lifted off to hang with the angels, he left behind a legacy that was nothing to write home about.
A deadbeat in both life and death, ol’ Freddie Lee Croxton left his youngest son a whopping $1500. Life insurance money. My man worked 45 years to bequeath a full two weeks of mortgage. Hardly recompense for 8 years of missed child support payments.
I’m sure I drank and smoked up every red cent of dad’s legacy.
Because: well, college.
Am I bitter about it? Nope. There was a time when it bugged me a bit. But then I visited his grave in 2011 and found out that his last name is spelled wrong on his headstone.
Rest in peace, Fred Croxten.
While I’m like my dad in many, many ways — entrepreneurial, hard working, intellectual, a free thinker — he was also a shining example of who and how I don’t want to be. Though I don’t have any children of my own (yet), I’ll be gosh darned if I don’t leave behind some kind of legacy for my family.
This reminds me of a story Steve Harvey once told. It was about a dying grandmother who asked her grandson if he knew his great-grandfather’s name.
“You know why?” she asked. He shook his head.
“Because he didn’t leave you nothing. Before you leave this earth, I want you to live your life so that your children’s grandchildren will know your name.”
That’s real talk.
Instead of resenting people whose parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents provided them with some modicum of financial security, why not become one of them?
Why not give your great-grandchildren a head start?
Why not set up your grandkids to get through college without taking out a school loan?
Why not foot the bill for your daughter’s wedding, so she and her new groom don’t start their new life together five figures in debt?
Why not leave behind a legacy so that future harvests from your branch of the family tree will be more delicious because you were here?
Why not make sure your great-grandchildren know your name?
At the very least, they’ll make sure it’s spelled correctly on your headstone.
On today’s episode of the podcast, Dr. Myles Munroe discusses the importance of generational wealth — leaving a legacy to your children’s children’s children.
YOU can have that kind of legacy, if you so choose.
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