Sometime during my college years, a local woman about my age died in what I consider one of the saddest and most random ways possible. She had gone out to a club and met a couple, who offered her their place to sleep off her partying. She accepted. The apartment complex then caught fire, and she died as a result.
A newspaper profile of the woman who died started with something along the lines of, “She was just another country girl.” Her friends and family talked about her love for going out and how she’d often crash with people she’d just befriended.
The main anecdote in the story was a friend’s recollection of how the girl was always losing her driver’s license, because she’d put it in her jeans pocket and it would often pop out while she was out dancing. The friend said she went through four or five licenses a year.
If I recall correctly, contributing to the woman’s death was that she was trying to rescue the host couple’s baby. If that’s the case, then she deserves to be remembered for that.
Still, the story made me think about my own life. Chuck Klosterman once said that everyone’s remembered in one sentence after they die. I think that’s true. This woman will always be remembered as the party girl who tried to save the baby of a couple she’d just met. Not a bad way to go. But a sad way to live.
I told myself at the time that I want to make a difference somehow. I’m still trying to figure out how, but the pursuit keeps me going. I hope that, whenever and however I go, I’ll be remembered for something substantial that I did in life. I don’t ever want to be “just another” anything.
What will you be remembered for?