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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Larry Haws - Leaving a Legacy

The last week of March, my uncle Larry Haws died after a 15 month battle with brain cancer.

His Celebration of Life was held on Monday, April 9th in St. Cloud, and since then, I've been thinking about life and the legacy we leave behind based on the life we live while we are here.

Larry married my dad's oldest sister Faith. My dad and Faith are 12 years apart and so my sister and I are a lot younger than our Haws cousins. Because of this, we weren't all that close growing up, so I didn't know Larry very well. I did know though, that he was involved in a lot of things within his community, and that he was a teacher and a coach all his life.

After attending his Celebration of Life service, I don't know if words can even sum up the legacy Larry left behind. His Celebration of Life service was HUGE. It was in a huge conference room with tons of tables with memorabilia set up, documenting his many, many years of service to his community. Larry was a teacher, a coach, and served more than 30 years as the Parks and Rec director in St. Cloud. He was also a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for 5 years. He was a champion of the underdog, and touched so many people's lives. This was blatantly obvious by the number of people who were there, as well as by the testimonies that people gave about Larry's affect on their lives.

Larry Haws even has a wikipedia page. I KNOW!

Larry's giving attitude is being carried on even after death, as his body is being donated to the U of M to be researched. Maybe insight on his type of brain cancer can be found from him.

I ask that you keep the Haws family in your prayers as they grieve and celebrate their father, grandfather, and husband. Most of all, pray for my aunt Faith, who lost her one true love, her husband of many, many years. Rest in Peace, Larry.

Thinking about the amazing legacy Larry left behind made me think about the own legacy I am creating. I have no idea what the culmination of my life will look like. What the sum of my accomplishments will look like when I die. I can only hope that people will look back on everything I have done and acknowledge that I made a difference to someone. That I left my mark. That people will remember.

How are we living our lives? Are we leaving our mark? Are we attempting to leave the world a better place because we lived here? Are we creating a legacy that will last even though we are gone someday?

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