Your Death Montage – What is Your Greatness?

It’s the New Year, so of course the Death Montages have begun, where we visit the lives of those who’ve passed in the last year as we celebrate their contributions to our world. What would yours say?  What would your contribution to the world be?

Did you leave your mark or are you waiting for the right time?  The time is now.   I don’t do resolutions as I believe we can be great every day, any time, any place and just keep it going.

Many new folks show up in the rooms of AA at the New Year.  It’s a resolution to stop drinking or to curb their drinking.  A few stay, but most go the way of the New Year gym membership crowd.  They work it for a while and then go back to their old ways.  They’re not ready or they just don’t want it yet.  I totally get it.  I hope if you show up at a meeting that you come back.  I hope you give it a chance and just keep coming.  You never know when it might get so bad that you don’t have a chance to come back.  I hope you come back.  Prove me wrong and keep coming back.

It sounds morbid to say this, but we’ve only got right now.  We’ve all known someone who was gone too soon and that fills us with regret and remorse and sadness of unfulfilled potential.  All that could have been was wiped away long before they had time to do all their great things.  As an alcoholic myself who is surrounded by this disease, I see far too many people full of promise killing themselves with drugs and alcohol WAY TOO SOON.  They missed their potential.  Their families missed their potential.  They were robbed.  Many others were robbed by cancer or other tragedies that don’t give anybody a fair chance to fight back.  IT IS NOT FAIR.  But it happens all around us, every day.  Honor them.  Be great for them.  Be the best version of yourself right now.

DO GREAT THINGS RIGHT NOW.  Be great right now.  There is no waiting for the right time.  It’s the little changes every day that cause our attitude and outlook upon life to change.  It doesn’t mean you have to be famous or make everything and everyone in the world great.  It just means, you.  Your life and what you do every day in your world to make it great.

I was granted a second chance and while my greatness may seem mundane, it is my greatness and I grab it full on with a proud strength that is all I need to keep going and make each day great, in it’s own way.  When you live in a second chance every day, you don’t want to miss a moment because all the moments are great.  Even the really sucky ones.  You drink in the moments and they quench your thirst the way no cheap vodka ever could, despite all it’s empty promises.

What is your greatness?

For me, greatness entails having a family and loving until it hurts.  To be a good mom.  To be a good wife and to be undeniably loved in return.  To have a family that loves and respects me after much work to repair damage that I inflicted.  To have a job I love and be compensated well in return.  To write what I want to write how and when I want to write it.  To grab courage by the throat and say, “I am writing a book” and actually write it.  TO HELP PEOPLE GET AND STAY SOBER.  To show kindness and compassion to all creatures great and small and grant them respect and understanding and love no matter their situation.  To feel beautiful from the inside out.  That is my greatness.  RIGHT NOW.


Seeing my little mama with my kids is my greatness.  This wouldn’t be happening without a lot of repair and amends.  What a gift that any of this is happening in my life today. 

To live in my amends every day for the rest of my life.  That is my greatness.  And in living those amends, I reap the benefits of a good happy life.  I don’t know how or why it works, but it works.  It’s that whole karma thing, you get back what you put out.  Nothing makes my life better more than helping other people.   People helped me and I try to return that gift each day as part of my amends.

It’s not always easy.  There are times I want to judge and I want to say, I cannot deal with this right now and I just don’t want to have a positive attitude and you know what?  I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE BREAKFAST AND GET THEM DRESSED TODAY.  But I do it anyway.  I love anyway.  I bite my tongue and I carry on with my angst in check at times even when I don’t want to.  I pick my battles.  Just as I pick being happy.

Here’s what I would WANT people to say about me in my death montage – “She was kind.  She was funny.  She helped people.  She loved and she was loved in return.  She was grateful.  She made life fun.”  That’s it.  That’s the most profound statement people could say about me.  Because I wasn’t always those things.  I was selfish and bitter.  I was unkind and judgmental.  I was miserable for a long time.

Then that psychic change happened several years ago where I stopped fighting everyone and everything and started giving back.  I got grateful.  My life got better.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s a choice each day to be better and to do better and I fail continually.  But I always feel better when I do good for myself and those around me.  As morbid as it sounds, if I die today, I would feel like I left a pretty good legacy behind.  I believe the people in my life would have only positive things to say about me and the impact I’ve had on the world.  It’s just a ripple, a small one, but that’s where it starts and it does happen from one person.

We all collectively leave a big mark, one day at a time.  It’s much easier being joyous and helping others than it is being bitter and sad and selfish.  I know as I’ve done both.

Oh, and in my montage, they best use some fabulous pictures of me or I will come back from my grave and haunt those jerks forever in my red lipstick and killer heels.


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