Drug Deals, Bucket Lists, and Leaving a Legacy

The following is a “guest post” from my very favorite person in all the world, Nason Hengst.  His words are mother-freaking good.  

Drug deals, Bucket lists & Leaving a Legacy

If you woke up in the morning and had to buy some drugs … who would you call? Well … for some reason … I was recently selected as that person. “Let me call the white boy in the suburbs … you know … the responsible father of 3 … yeah call him for drugs” … said no one EVER … Except my cousin apparently.

Now … before you start calling me El Pablo Blanco … We are only talking about a smidge of reefer, hydro, sticky icky, chronic, dank, fatty boom blatty, Mary Jane, you get the idea. And it’s for my uncle … he’s just gone from walking around living a normal life to 2 weeks later at home with hospice care. His pain meds aren’t working and they are trying to get him comfortable. Hence … “call cousin and have him find some dope.” I guess they called the right person as I walked into their house with hippie lettuce, a pipe, a few edible chocolate bars and a batch of homemade cheeba cookies … maybe they were left over from a recent ski trip to Colorado … maybe they were from the East side … maybe I grow it at mah house … maybe not … Much to my surprise … he wasn’t able to smoke or even eat so it was all for nothing … Except … a few family members sampled the products and I got to do my first drug run which I’ve always wanted to do for some reason. Get me a gold chain with a clock on it Mom … oh … and a track suit … I need a track suit … I know you’re proud of your Bbbbooooiiiiii.

That night we were sitting around reminiscing about Uncle Bob and how a few years ago he was talking about bucket lists … he had 3 items (at least that he mentioned) … get arrested, get a tattoo and get high one time. As much as we tried to help him with the last item … he would never cross these items off his list. Now … I’m a list person and I can’t get this out of my mind … I simply can’t leave items on a list “undone”. It drives me freaking crazy. But … if I found myself 2 weeks from now at the end of my life … there’d be a lot “undone”. How about you?

Watching my uncle in his last days has taught me to think about life differently. Refresh your bucket list and get after it … make it happen. It’s also showed me to take more risks. Life is short … don’t live it in the “safe” zone living a life based on what makes the most sense or worse … living a life based on someone else’s opinion or expectation of you. Put yourself out there and go after your dreams … and forget about what other people think. A temporary setback or failure is not nearly as painful as coming to the end of your life having not tried. We simply don’t know how long we have on this earth … my uncle could have easily died with some ink on his arm, a handcuff scar and a water bong … he could have probably crossed all 3 of these off in one night. This doesn’t make him a failure and I’m sure he might have just been being funny … or they were simply “wishes”. I’d encourage you to make a list … a for real list … and get about crossing stuff off!

  • where are the places you want to go?
  • what are some things you’d like to do?
  • what do you want to give? And to who?
  • what relationships do you need to repair?
  • what do you want to accomplish?
  • who do you want to meet?
  • what do you want to teach your kids?
  • if you couldn’t fail, what would you
    attempt?

The other thing I’ve learned is that our lives actually matter. We leave a legacy. My uncle impacted so many people by investing in their lives. The people who came and visited him in the hospice center actually blew me away. He was a quiet man that kept to himself a lot. But man … people showed up thanking him for what he meant in their lives. Whether it was a kind word or a gift or something he had done for them … it changed their lives and they never forgot about it. He built furniture for each of his grandkids, he took trips with his family and they had some awesome traditions.

My aunt was telling me about how they have needed new carpet in their home for a long time … every time they were going to spend the money … they’d decide to travel instead. She went on and on about how glad she was they traded that carpet to see & experience new places together. Those are the things that made an impact. Living a selfless life … Investing time and talents and money to make other people’s lives better & to create lasting memories… that was his legacy. What will yours be? How will your kids talk about you? What will your neighbors say? Your coworkers? How can you make their lives better and put them above yourself and your personal desires?

What legacy will you leave when your short time on earth comes to an end?

What can you “trade the carpet for”?

How will you be remembered?

Your life matters. You have a purpose and it can be found in God that created you. Make your life count by living for others and not for your personal gain … that crap doesn’t last … it is all left behind when you are gone. Be yourself and screw what other people think. Let your light shine as there is not another light like yours in the entire world. The world needs your gift. There is something great inside of you … let it out … and set the world on fire. Live light and free through the grace that God openly gives to each of us through his son Jesus Christ … who lived the ultimate selfless life … sacrificing himself for you and for me.

James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

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