How would you like to be remembered? 6



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I’ve never been one for making New Year resolutions, but at the beginning of each year I always feel an urge to do better in some way.

In that vein, while I was doing a clean-up of my study over the past few weeks, I came across two clippings, that, on re-reading, seem particularly appropriate for beginning a new year. One of them is an extract from Ray Bradbury’s classic story, Fahrenheit 451:

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it, into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime” (HarperCollins, London, 2004, p.164)

In everything that I do, I’d rather be the gardener than the guy who just cuts the lawn. I think of my late sister-in-law, Monica, who was about the same age as me when she died of cancer 18 months ago, and how her memory still lives on in the lives of people she knew and loved, because she touched them in some way. Through her acts and words, and through her husband, children and grandchildren, she’s still there.

The other quote I came across is from Neil Finn, former member of the band ‘Crowded House’, who continues to perform. Talking about his songwriting in an interview published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Finn said:

“When something looks effortless, like it always existed, like it rolled out of you like a river, then you have done a good job. But what makes that up is painful, small steps, craft, skulduggery, anything that gets you over the line”.

I have a number of writing projects on the go this year, and my aim is to make all of my writing look ‘effortless’. But I know that will require ‘painful, small steps and craft’ and that magic ingredient Finn calls ‘skulduggery’. There is also another element, which he doesn’t mention: just getting on with it. Sit down and write.

For 2015, may your gardens be well tended and your creativity roll out of you like a river. “It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it, into something that’s like you after you take your hands away”.
How would you like to be remembered? Do you write? What do you like writing? Tell us below.

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We hope to see you celebrating the over 60 life with other over 60s on February 17 2015.


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Darryl Dymock

Dr Darryl Dymock has developed an ?encore career? as an author, writing mainly non-fiction and short stories. When not poised over his keyboard, he works part-time as a senior researcher in adult and vocational education at Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland. His latest book is Extending your use-by date: why retirement age is only a number, published as an e-book in March 2013 ( Darryl has previously worked as a clerk, high school teacher, taxi driver, soldier, and university lecturer, and he has lived and worked in three Australian states, England, and Papua New Guinea. He has four grown-up children, and now lives in Brisbane with his wife and his laptop. You can find Darryl?s blog at

  1. I recently looked at a home we renovated 40+ years ago. I thought at the time that I had the cupboards and walk-in robe just right and they are still there today, even though a lot of the rest of the house has been updated

  2. I would like to be remembered by my children in their reflection and recognition of the motivations for the hardships they may have suffered from time to time. The input in their upbringing that was driven by love, tough love at times and a desire to rear children who would have a good work ethic, an understanding of helping those less fortunate than themselves and a desire to treat others as they wish to be treated. I would also hope that they felt loved, safe and encouraged.

    Regarding friends, I would hope for them to recognise that I was faithful to them regarding my readiness to be of help in difficult times, keen to share life, willing to work together to achieve a common goal, happy to do the things that women like to do together e.g. Chat over coffee, go shopping for the fun of it or for what to wear for my Dad’s passing away. That I could be relied upon and trusted in relationships with honesty, integrity and love.

  3. I would like to be remembered as someone who would go out of their way to help others. Someone who was determined to do the right thing no matter how hard. And someone who fought her own problems and kept getting back up each time my problems knocked me down.

  4. I’d like my daughter or son to be able to stand up at my funeral and say “Thank God Mum got all her photos dated, papers filed and collections sorted before she died” In that case, I’d better get off this computer and get a wriggle on.

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