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Leave a Legacy Projects

How poetry, music and movies can help create a lasting legacy for your family

Dave and Helena Reynolds celebrated their 40th anniversary this year. This is their 1973 engagement photo

“I want you guys to play wiffle ball at my funeral.”

After overcoming my shock, I replied to my husband, “What makes you think I'll be around for YOUR funeral? If you want wiffle ball to be played, you'll have to plan it yourself. And besides, if I am around for your funeral, I'll call it a Celebration of Life.”

We were having this discussion in the car after a friend's Celebration of Life, feeling both sad and glad. We were sad that our friend had died but glad we had been able to see dozens of friends and acquaintances we had not seen for a long time. We also felt bad because it seemed like the only time we gathered was after someone had died.

That’s when we decided to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary publicly – it provided a good reason to gather to celebrate life; it offered a way to reconnect with friends and acquaintances for funny stories and to recollect memories and life lessons.

When we told our kids, they said they were already planning a surprise party for our anniversary!

We agreed on time, date and location, but the Anniversary Celebration still had surprises to offer: the guest list was a surprise, the program was a surprise, the menu and décor were surprises (and reflected our shared passion for baseball).

And how well everything worked out was an amazing surprise.

Our daughter surprised us with a 40-foot wide photo-essay of our lives. Our son wrote a poem about our lives, accompanied by music from a popular baseball movie. The presentation included photos, video clips, graphics and stories.

Leave a Legacy Projects

Two shows on Monday, Sept. 29, either 1pm or 6pm.

Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith Street in Kent. No charge but RSVP strongly suggested:

253-856-5164 by Friday, Sept. 26. Specify either the 1pm or 6pm show on Sept 29.

The 24-minute presentation, entitled Rising to a Dream, was similar to the 22 minute tribute I had created for my parents’ 40th anniversary in 1990 entitled Rise to the Dream Across the Sea. And it was intriguing to many guests, who said they were inspired to create their own Legacy Projects.

The experience sparked an idea for me to re-show the presentations for the public, with an eye to helping others interested in creating something similar.

Families, especially seniors and boomers, are invited to a special event to see examples of Leave a Legacy Projects that they may opt to create for themselves. The details are below.

As a final note, yes, we did play wiffle ball at our special anniversary celebration.

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