The Question Is…
How Will You Be Remembered?

When I was writing the first draft of this article, I searched for a title. I needed something catchy and cute. Since I was unable to come up with something, I pondered and pondered. Then it hit me. Edit Johnny Carson’s shtick.

Carnac the Magnificent

The question that I had burned into my frontal lobe of my brain is what will be my legacy? That haunting question is tied to Randy Pausch and Bobby Kennedy. However, this essay is about something more personal. It is related to something that Ti Ti told me when she and her two younger sisters were on a shopping spree.The first part of our picking out clothes and toys went extremely well. Snow and Fatty both picked out cute tops and dolls.

When it was Ti Ti’s turn, she said she didn’t need anything. Nonetheless, that was in juxtaposition to my need to express my love to her. I merely wanted her to pick out a couple of items. In desperation, Ti Ti said that she wanted me to pick out a gift for her. In that way, it would remind her of me when I returned to the States. While I heard her plea and at one level understood it, I continued to suggest that she should pick out something. I wanted something that she liked. I didn’t want to be remembered for picking out something that she didn’t like.

Having said that, it wasn’t until after she bought a cute dress that I finally got her comment. I realized that I should have listened better. I quickly returned to a store and got her a scarf.

Ti Ti’s new dress

Ti Ti’s new scarf

However, remembering is a two-way street. I too will remember Ti Ti for many things that I love about her. She is brilliantly intelligent, she is a very driven person, she is caring, and she is fun to be with.

As for Snow, I’ll remember that she is like Ti Ti but just several years younger. She is the most focused person that I have ever met though. We were at a restaurant, and she was watching a program on TV while waiting for the meal to be served. I waved my hand in front of her face several times. She did not even notice my hand.

However, the far more important thing that I will always remember has to do with holding hands with her. When we were walking someplace, she started holding my hand. She didn’t mention it; she just took a hold of my hand and continued to walk…hand in hand.

When going out for dinner on the last day that I would be with the family, I was sitting between Snow and Fatty in the back seat of their family’s car. I took hold of her hand without saying anything during the drive to the restaurant and then to my hotel.

And then there was Fatty. She is six and has a limited English vocabulary. What I will remember about Fatty is that whenever she would see me, she would call out, “Bo Bo Gyi.” In response, I’d tickle her, and we both would laugh. However, within a few moments, she’d wind up on my lap looking up at me with her dark eyes fluttering as if to say, “You love me; don’t you?”

I will remember Ko Ko, who is the girls’ father. He is caring and loving just like everyone in the family, but he is a mechanical genius. He designed their home and wired it. Ko Ko and Moh Moh gave me a framed picture of Inle Lake as a gift. In a matter of a couple days he built a protective carrier for their picture. It was made so well that my picture arrived at home without any damage or even a scratch.

The other thing is that Ko Ko’s mind is like a computer. Much of the time while around Inle Lake, he was my guide, except for the day that Moh Moh and Ti Ti were my guides. Ko Ko knows all the sites to show tourists, but he would ask me what I really wanted to see. Any data that I would give him was entered into his computer. It was processed, scheduled, and carried out. Anything that I would mention during the day, it would be like cutting and pasting to a Word document. I was truly amazed to see the efficiency of his mental ability, which I nicknamed his computer.

I wrote about giving Moh Moh a copy of Chris Matthew’s book, Bobby Kennedy. During the four years between my trips to Myanmar, we would exchange emails quite regularly. However, it didn’t take long before I could see Bobby Kennedy in her personality

Moh Moh is so much like Bobby that I wrote a note about the parallels between the two of them on the title page of Bobby Kennedy, which was one of my gifts for her. She is soft-spoken and caring. She wants to help in any way she can. She is there to assist.

It is amazing to me the level of love and caring that my family in Myanmar possess. As long as I am around, I’ll never forget them. I’m sure that they won’t forget me either. However, my family overseas is an important lesson for all my readers. It should raise the question in your minds about how you will be remembered when you are no longer around. At 75, I don’t know how many years I have remaining, but my recent trip to Myanmar won’t be my last. I need to visit my family again.

Bobby Kennedy

Bobby Kennedy

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Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

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Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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Dancing with Death

Dancing with Death

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An old man and his grandson

An Old Man and His Grandson

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My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

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The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture

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