What We Do Matters

6 Nov

An old classmate from long ago died last week.

No, it’s all right, really.  He wasn’t a close friend, just one of thousands of people who pass through our lives over the years so please, there is no reason to tell me how sorry you are.

I mention it because, when I heard he died, my mind immediately sprang into action, remembering back, tall kid, thin, bookish, quiet, a bit clueless with regards to sarcasm, and quite concerned about the political landscape of that time.  I remember he liked classical music, and I only remember that because I knew him in the 60s.  While we all listened to The Beatles and the Stones, he was listening to Mozart.

And that is the total of my memories about him.  We never ran into each other after school. I have no idea what became of him, where his actions took him, or anything about any accomplishments.  I knew him for four years and that was it.

My other thought, and this is brutal honesty, was “whew, I outlived another one,” because seriously, I think we all have that fleeting thought, especially once we reach a certain age.


So anyway, this all got me to thinking, I wonder what people will think of when it is my turn to pass on, and they hear about it, and that got me to thinking that we are all memories in the making.

Now, depending on how you have lived your life, there is either great comfort in that thought, or there is reason to break out into the cold sweats of regret.  Just more random thoughts, my friends . . . what we do matters . . . what we say matters . . . how we treat others matters.

I’ve talked before about our writings, our novels, our blogs, our articles and our short stories, and how they are part of our legacy forever, and how cool is that?  Hundreds of years from now our words will be read by new generations.  But there is more to us than our words.  There is more to us than the books we leave behind.

What we do matters!

Just something to think about as November slides into view.

Make life matter!

And of course November brings with it Thanksgiving, and I am so damned grateful that I am a writer.

And for those who asked, I am now halfway through my latest novel, “The Magician’s Shadow.”


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

29 Responses to “What We Do Matters”

  1. Janine Huldie November 6, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

    Love your message and hope that what I have done so far and will do will most definitely matter when my number is up. Thanks for sharing, as always and now, here is to a great Tuesday for us all! 🙂

    • Billybuc November 6, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

      Oh, Janine, I suspect you will be remembered fondly when the time comes. No worries on that account.

  2. Greg Boudonck November 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm #

    Hi my friend.

    I often think on this subject and it reminds me of a revelation I had… Often, our actions and words are not taken seriously until we do die. So leave them with wisdom and not foolishness.

    Love you guys. Have a great week.

    • Billybuc November 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

      I love that, Greg…thanks for sharing those words.

  3. Shannon Henry November 6, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

    Man, it’s like you get inside my head and then leave your random comments. Stay out! LOL. Actually, I like that you share your random reflections on life. Few people appreciate it when I do this type of thing in random conversation so it’s nice to read when other people share this way.

    A coworker passed away suddenly last week and similar thoughts went through my mind. I’d just seen the man a day or two prior to his death and he was all smiles, as usual, asking how I was doing. Other said he was working the very day he died and in good spirits and feeling better, though he’d had a recent ER visit. His death reminded me of finding out about a former coworker’s death about a year ago, which also surprised people who were still working with her at the time. To this day, I remember what she said to me when she found out I was going to have surgery on my kidney and I remember how she thanked me for being kind to her when she first started working there because others were not so kind. She was older and rather slow, but most people didn’t know that her husband had recently passed…or maybe it was a child….someone close to her and she was still coping with the death and the holidays. I don’t even remember how it came about that she told me, but I remember her appreciation because I didn’t feel as though I’d done anything all that special at the time. But what I remember most is her encouragement to me and that her words stuck with me the day of surgery and even now. She told me to take Jesus with into the operating room. Such a simple reminder that I didn’t need to be nervous, but it worked, and I never even mentioned being nervous about it.

    So yes, my thoughts are alway similar to what you have shared here. I remember words as much as actions, sometimes more than actions. Both negative words and kind ones. And I hope that I leave behind more good words to be recalled than bad. Because we can be gone in the blink of an eye for any number of reasons and even when we don’t know someone very well we can still leave behind a little piece of love.

    • Billybuc November 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

      Shannon, that was one hell of a comment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I spend a great amount of time, inside my head, pondering life and my part in it. I’m not sure if that is good, or bad, but it’s better than being clueless, me thinks. lol

      • Shannon Henry November 21, 2018 at 7:20 pm #

        Sorry. You can just tell me to shut up and stop talking so much. LOL

  4. Michael Milec November 7, 2018 at 3:00 am #

    Traces of our work and love follow us now and when once we are gone of this world, memories will remain of what we have done good. (Sometimes a small act of love provided in time of need is remembered by generations)

    • Billybuc November 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you, Michael my friend. I find great comfort in your words.

  5. Mike November 7, 2018 at 4:12 am #

    Hi Bill – I think we all, when we get to a certain age, thing about our legacy. I think this thing called a legacy, must be built over years. I often tell my brother, he and I should strive to be better uncles. Congratulations on the progress made to the novel.

    • Billybuc November 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

      Mike, we take it day by day, and that makes it all seem manageable. Today I will be a better person…I can do that! Thanks buddy!

  6. Rolly A. Chabot November 7, 2018 at 4:31 am #

    Hi Bill… as alway rather poignant to read your article as I have had two pass in as many weeks.Not close but close enough it gets one to thinking, one of the many reasons I prefer to live better knowing we are all standing in line. There is no way to change the line up, we just are. When our time comes it simply comes.
    Best make every day a day that counts. Reach out and touch another person no matter in how small the gesture is, just do it and be a better you than yesterday.

    • Billybuc November 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

      Rolly, I love that image…just standing in line…yep, that’s perfect, my friend.

      Peace and love from the fog.

  7. phoenix2327 November 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

    At the risk of sounding morbid, my husband has been marking off deceased schoolmates since his mid-20s. He didn’t grow up in the best neighbourhood and many of these lads met their premature ends at the hands of addiction and car crashes. But they left their mark on him and he was able to escape the same fate. So, you’re right, Bill. What we do matters and for good or ill, can impact the lives of those around us.

    Have a great day.

    • Billybuc November 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

      Oddly, Zulma, I understand what your husband does. I don’t know what that says about me, but so be it. lol

  8. manatita November 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm #

    The Legacy of Love … of service. They tend to get remembered and you are doing your best, Bro. Cool!

    • Billybuc November 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

      Thank you, Manatita, as are you. Love always!

  9. Sageleaf November 8, 2018 at 2:06 am #

    Have you ever read “The Butterfly Effect”? It talks about how everything we do matters – as you said above. Except it blows it up on a global scale – things like how this one guy helped change the fate of the Civil War because he kept his infantry in a “charge” mentality and helped turn the tide at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was a teacher from Maine and…by golly, we’re reading about it today. Ha! I love this kind of stuff. haha…A butterfly in South America has the power to create a hurricane in the northern hemisphere. It used to be considered pseudoscience, and then they were able to prove that, in fact, subtle forces are at work all over the world that affect everything else – including humans. 🙂
    Ah well…I loved this post. And well…growing up in a nursing home, plus all my work last year meditating on my own death…I’d say I have an interesting view of it and that really, none of us escapes it, so we may as well make the best of it, right? Ha!
    I’m sorry for my tardiness in getting a comment to you, Big Bro. Got lots of events going on at school this week and there will be some more. Whew! I hope you have a great rest of your week.

    • Billybuc November 8, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

      The Civil War guy was Chamberlin from Maine, Lil Sis…very interesting character in our history…a college professor who saved the Union Army…love that reference.As for the butterfly effect, I am a big believer in that theory, so right on Lil Sis!

      No need to say sorry….being tardy is my new default setting.

      Hugs from chilly Olympia

  10. swalia November 9, 2018 at 1:25 am #

    A very thought provoking post. Only if we ponder over ‘who will cry when we die’, we will be able to live a better life and work towards leaving a legacy which will be remembered much after we are gone.

    • Billybuc November 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm #

      So very true,Swalia…thank you for your thoughts and your visit.

  11. suzanne ridgeway November 9, 2018 at 7:17 am #

    I have certainly become more aware of our own mortality and how precious life is. Another good friend recently passed way too early at 52. I have always tried to live my life and do what I feel is right. Thanks Bill for this reminder that everything matters because it does. Hugs to you and Bev from across the pond in Italy.

    • Billybuc November 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

      irish,it is a sobering reminder of our short time on this planet. Carpe diem, my friend, and hugs from Olympia.

  12. Andrea Stephenson November 9, 2018 at 11:51 am #

    I find it fascinating the way people pass through our lives and the role they play – and the idea of the legacies we leave behind is also something I often ponder the older I get.

    • Billybuc November 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

      I’m with you, Andrea! I spend a great deal of my free time pondering such heavy topics. 🙂 At least I’m not robbing a bank or something. lol

  13. Lawrence Hebb November 21, 2018 at 9:58 pm #

    It does matter what we do! and there are stories happening today that deserve to be told tomorrow, that’s part of what the writer does. We bring people ‘to life’ so that others can hear their stories.

    • Billybuc November 21, 2018 at 11:55 pm #

      I totally agree,Lawrence,and I love that we do what we do. Thank you sir!

  14. Dee December 3, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    Lawrence voiced my statement, very much what we do as a writer. Someone once told me that we affect 600 people by our lifestyle. That is quite impressive.

    • Billybuc December 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm #

      That is quite a responsibility, Dee…600 people…I’m suddenly feeling the pressure. 🙂

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