Before my journey “officially” began, I had two amazing experience which shaped my perspective on this trip:  My 20 year high school reunion and my uncle’s funeral.  During the entire weekend, I was consistently confronted many people who have been part of my journey through life.  We have rubbed shoulders, had amazing times, made each other mad, been close by and far away.  In short, we have lived life together.  And because each of my classmates and family members have been a part of my life, I am a different person.  Who they are has affected my life irrevocably. 

At my 20 year reunion, I spent two glorious evenings sharing past and present stories, laughing a lot, reevaluating judgements I’d made about people, and overall being delighted by the people who have shared my path.

For my uncle’s funeral, I spent an evening and a morning with cousins and family reminiscing on our past.  During the service, the pastor listed all the various ways my uncle has forever changed the community in which he lived.  On the 15 hour drive between Macon, Mississippi, and Williamsburg, Virginia, I had time to reflect on these two experiences and what it means to leave a legacy.  It occurred to me that a hundred years from now, anyone wishing to know my uncle would have no trouble finding information about him–his civic duties, running of the funeral home, etc.  But what would they really understand about his life?  It’s hard to say.

Today, I am beginning my quest to understand Robert Bolling–who he was, what made him tick, and how he lived and interacted with those he rubbed shoulders with.   What of his legacy will I be able to uncover?  To me, it is like the beginning of a treasure hunt or a puzzle.  What are the pieces I have and how do they fit together.  We’ll see.