By: Annette Prentice
Late last month, we learned PAWS client Michael Chambers had passed away. Of course, when you serve people with disabilities or chronic health concerns, it’s not uncommon to hear of a client’s passing.
For me, though, the news about Michael hit just a little closer to home. In the year and a half I’ve been at PAWS, Michael is the first client to pass away who I’d personally interviewed and spent time with. I met him this past spring: we’d invited Michael and his Service Dog ROYAL to share their story at our PAWS Together fundraising luncheon in April. We visited beforehand to talk about the program.
Michael’s confidence and self-possession was unmistakable. He spoke eloquently of how much ROYAL, and the freedoms she brought to his life, meant to him. I left knowing Michael and ROYAL were the perfect team to feature, and that they’d do a wonderful job speaking at our luncheon.
Among other things, August is “What Will Your Legacy Be?” Month. It’s a time for people “to reflect on their past and present actions. To vow to make positive changes that will affect generations.”
“Legacy”, in this instance, is about more than “planned giving” (though that could certainly be included). Legacies come in all shapes and sizes – they can and should be measured by more than days or dollars. Leaving a legacy entails getting involved; it means making a positive difference for yourself and others.
Michael left a legacy of grace and generosity of spirit I will never forget.
What will your legacy be?